Bangor U14 pipped at the post by Armagh
By Roger Corbett
With the season drawing to an end, Bangor U14’s continued their hunt for silverware, in the Plate Final
Bangor made the long trip to the Mid Ulster Arena at Cookstown, to face Armagh. This was the second time the U14’s had faced Armagh in knock out rugby this year, so it was imperative that Bangor got off to a good start. They knew Armagh were a good side.
On arrival at the sports complex, the rain had thankfully stopped and Bangor began the game with the wind behind their backs.
The wind from Storm Hannah presented challenging conditions, which the boys were going to have to adapt to. The game commenced with Armagh taking a clever grubber style kick off into the wind, which Bangor struggled to gather. This highlighted the difficult high winds which the teams would have to contend with.
First blood came to Armagh, who scored a well worked unconverted try, showing good interplay between their backs and forwards. However with strong words of encouragement from the coaches, the young Bangor men took to the restart with a positive, can do attitude. This was immediately apparent with the stern defence and aggressive, positive play from the backs and forwards respectively.
Bangor were rewarded with a try for their endeavour and hard work, which clearly had caught Armagh unawares. They were shocked by the physicality of the Bangor pack and attacking prowess of the backs.
The remainder of the first half was a fine spectacle of youth rugby, with some great play, in a very well contested first half, which finished ten a piece.
The second half seemed to see the strong winds pick up in pace, and made the conditions even more challenging for Bangor. Armagh utilised this, with some clever kicking and chasing, which caught the Bangor defence on the hop. Throughout the second half, the whole young Bangor squad showed sheer dogged determination, and never gave up. The team displayed some formidable attacking play, however on the day, were simply beaten by the better team.
Congratulations to Armagh, who ran in a further four tries in the second half. The final score was 32 - 10 to Armagh. Congratulations to the young men from Armagh, who gave a great display of rugby.
It was clear for all to see, how this young Bangor team represented their club and town with great pride and passion. They played exceptionally well, and the score was not a true reflection of how well they played. The boys left everything on the pitch, and all supporters and coaches were extremely proud of the tireless effort the boys put into the game.
This bodes well for the future of youth rugby, and is a stepping stone for all of the players to greater things.
The travelling support was noticeable in terms of both their numbers and vocal encouragement! Thank you to all who have helped and willed the boys along on this incredible journey.
Yet again the coaches dilemma of Man of The Match had to be decided. However there was a unanimous decision this time! For his tireless work around the park, his positive attitude and exemplary performance Tyler Mahaffy was given the accolade. Well done Tyler!
There are just two events left for the team. Bangor will play Malone on Wednesday 1st May - kick off 7:15pm, at Upritchard Park.
On Saturday 4th May, there is a 15 a side tournament at Malone Rugby Club. This will be a fantastic day out, and all support for the boys will be greatly appreciated.
Please click HERE to view Andrew Wray's photos of the game.