|1st XV overwhelm Ards but have to be content with league runner up spot|
Instonians 50 – Ards 0
Conditions: drizzle throughout with a moderate wind
Instonians had an outside chance of winning the Kukri Ulster Championship League Division 1
if they could see off Ards and Omagh slipped up against Carrick. Alas it was not to be and
they will have to be content with the runners up slot for the second season in succession.
Congratulations must go to Omagh for deservedly winning the league. It is a game of small
margins. Both home and away Instonians lost out to Omagh by a single point. A win in either
game would have secured the league. But it was not to be.
This final league encounter of the season was played at Shaw’s Bridge in poor, damp
conditions. Right from the start Instonians held the advantage in terms of the set piece.
The Ards line out malfunctioned and they were under pressure in the scrums. This meant
that they rarely had enough possession to trouble the home defence and were fairly blunt
However, they were game in defence and fought a strong rear-guard action. Winger Michael
Melville was the first to score for Instonians. He has been improving in both attack and defence
all season and now looks a big, strong, confident player. He took on the Ards defence with a
strong run up the touchline. He left several would be tacklers in his wake to go in for an unconverted
try after 13 minutes.
Next on the score sheet was flanker Jordan McMullan. He benefitted from the work of his pack after
a kick for the corner after a penalty award. Instonians mauled close to the line and then Jordan was
too strong as he charged for the line. This time out half Richard McCarthy converted to put his side 12-0
after 20 minutes.
On 35 minutes centre Davey Scott, who has had a powerful season, burst clear through the middle to
run in a great score from about 40 metres. When converted this left the score at 17-0 at the interval.
Ards put up some stern resistance in the first ten minutes of the second half and enjoyed some territory
and possession but handling errors and indiscipline cost them.
In the end it was one way traffic as Instonians tightened their grip.
Big number 8 Franco Maggalio was next on the score sheet after one of his customary surges close to
the line after 56 minutes.
Then Ards had a kick charged down inside their 22. The ball was kicked ahead and Andrew Mc Gregor,
playing at number 13 instead of his customary 15, was too quick for the cover and dotted the ball down.
Hooker Conor Gallagher was next to benefit from the work of his pack as he powered over from close
range following a penalty award.
Outstanding captain Robbie Whitten, who has enjoyed a great season as both a player and leader, decided
to end his season with a flourish. He crossed for two late tries to leave Instonians very comfortable 50-0
Man of the Match this week goes to Michael Melville who looked very dangerous each time he got the ball.
Team 1 to 17: Francesco Mezzavilla, Conor Gallagher, Josh Cregan , Michael Blackwood , Robert Whitten,
Josh Lyness , Jordan McMullan, Franco Maggailo, Matthew Keane, Richard McCarthy, Michael Melville,
David Scott, Andrew McGregor, Epi Ratu, Matt Kilpatrick , Alan Whitten Blair Robinson