UCC Rugby continue unbeaten run

While it wasn’t such a great weekend for the national side as they crashed out of the world cup.  UCC Rugby are still riding on the crest of a wave as they secured their third consecutive win in the AIL Division 1A to remain in top spot.  A hard-fought 20-14 triumph over Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park on Saturday afternoon.

It was the home side that started the brightest with Young Munster first off the mark.  After a spell of early pressure on the UCC line, Jordan Stewart went over for a try in the corner. A superb conversion by Evan Cusack made it 7-0.

Despite the stop start nature since Young Munster opened the scoring, UCC continued to push forward.  A kick forward by James Taylor, caused confusion in the Munster back three and John Poland capitalised, going in under the posts to get UCC off the mark.  Taylor completed the move by placing the conversion calmly between the posts.

UCC were awarded a penalty after a high tackle 15metres from the touch line, and Taylor confidently opted for going for the posts.  A great strike by Taylor, put the visitors in the lead for the first time.

Five minutes before the interval and Taylor was on the scoresheet again.  UCC pressure resulted in Young Munster conceding a penalty.  Once again, Taylor made no mistake to extend UCC’s lead 7-13.

However, a lapse in concentration minutes from the break allowed Evan O’Gorman run through, as he took the ball on the UCC 10-metre line and barged through a couple of defenders, before delivering a hand-off to Rob Hedderman and touching down under the posts. Cusack’s conversion meant the home side went in at half time with slender lead 14-13.

UCC were then dealt a blow when Taylor left the field injured after 47 minutes but took the lead again on the hour. After Ryan Murphy had been held up, they showed great patience from the resulting scrum and eventually the pressure told with Poland sniping over.

The former Munster half-back made no mistake with the conversion that put UCC six points ahead. Young Munster had chances to get back in front several times in the final quarter, but each time the UCC defence held strong. A five-metre scrum in the final minute provided them with one final chance, but man-of-the-match Poland was on hand to clear for UCC after the ball had squirted out of the scrum.

UCC next face mid-table Clontarf in the Mardyke Sports Grounds on Saturday 2nd November.