2nd XV have back to back wins against Banbridge 3rd XV

Instonians 2nd XV 36 – 17 Banbridge 3rd XV

Instonians 2nd XV recorded another bonus point win away to a committed Banbridge, making it 15 points from 15 over the Christmas period.  The two teams faced each other only the previous Saturday, so this was always going to be a closely contested encounter. The score line flattered an Instonians team, who played in fits and starts. Mark Mairs, Ross O’Donnell and Lewis McNamarra stood out, and Inst welcomed back Daryll Smyth and Aaron Davis back from injury. Inst also had the 3 Fryers’ brothers, Joe, Charlie and Sam, all starting, with both Joe and Sam getting on the scoresheet.

In the opposite of last week, Inst started strongly, scoring 3 early tries, racing to a 15-0 lead. The forward pack dominated early, with scrums and lineouts operating effectively. Nelson and Mezzavilla had the upper hand in the scrum, and the throwing from Neil Saulters was excellent.

Successful forward play and fast delivery by Ross O’Donnell made life difficult for Banbridge at the break down. Frustration started to build and Bann conceded several penalties. After 5 minutes, Inst Captain Richard McCarthy opted to go for the corner, a clean lineout take by Mairs led to a strong driven maul, with Jonny Mooney taking the score. 5-0 Inst.

Shortly after, another excellent driven maul from a lineout led to good backs play, a simple forward carry in the middle of the park set up Sam Fryers to race in for the 2nd try. 10-0 Inst.

Inst’s dominance continued to build, with the pack carrying well. Lewis McNamarra made an excellent break, popping to Ross O’Donnell out of contact who broke free and unselfishly set up Joe Fryers to run it in. 15-0 Inst.

Unfortunately Inst then took the foot of the gas, concentration lapses and basic errors allowed Banbridge to come back into the game. Missed tackles to score two unanswered scores, both in kickable positions. 15-14 Inst.

It was now a very tight game and both sides tried to force play too much, leading to multiple errors. Inst lost Nelson to a knee injury before half time and lost the dominance in the scrum. The lineout continued to excel, with Saulters and Mairs able to link up almost unopposed each time. Andrew Keane, Cameron Williams and Ashley Black defended well and their kick chase was excellent all game. Half time 15-14 Inst.

The first 10 minutes of the 2nd half was scrappy, both sides trying to get some early points on the board. Too many dropped balls for both teams stopped the flow of the game. Inst finally started to gain a bit of momentum, with good hands by the backs allowing Ross O’Donnell to cut through and score. Conversion by Andrew Keane. 22-14 Inst.

Again errors allowed Banbridge to come back into the game, and Insts defence had to stand firm. Daryll Smith went on for Charlie Fryers and tackled everything in sight. Banbridge gained territory steadily, before the Inst penalty count began to mount. With an 8 point game, Bann opted for the posts and converted the penalty. 22-17 Inst.

This reinvigorated the Inst side, with the scrum struggling, Inst relied on the lineout for their set piece. Ross O’Donnell marshalled the team well and Mark Mairs and Lewis McNamarra carried well throughout. Inst made it into the Banbridge 22 and forward carries allowed sub Aaron Davis to carry strongly over the line. 29-17 Inst.

Again both sides struggled to put phases together with the temperatures dropping, but another Ross O’Donnell break set up Joe Fryers to race in, stepping the last man to score his 2nd score of the day. 36-17 Inst.

Final Score 36-17. Another bonus point win for the Inst side, so job done. It was not a great performance by either side, with scores mostly resulting from mistakes or errors. A lot to work on this week. The game was played in good spirit and was an evenly contested encounter. Thank you to Banbridge for two good matches. Good to get another bonus point win.   

Team 1 to 18: Francessco Mezzivilla, Neil Saulters, Matthew Nelson, Robert McGibbon, Charlie Fryers, Johnny Mooney, Mark Mairs, Lewis McNamarra, Ross O'Donnell, Richard McCarthy, Ashley Black, Joe Fryers, Sam Fryers, Cameron Williams, Andrew Keane, Daryl Smyth, Johnny Harding, Aaron Davis