1st XV narrowly lose to GHK in friendly

Instonians come up just short in pre-season friendly against GHK (Glasgow)
Instonians 26- GHK 31
1-pm Saturday 17 August 2019
Shaw’s Bridge

Instonians will be disappointed to have lost this pre-season friendly in the last move of the game. With less than a minute to go they turned over the ball to give Glasgow a scrum put in on their own 22. To their credit they held on to the ball and then burst clear to score at the posts in an exciting  move that took them three quarters of the length of the field.

This pre-season fixture was first played way back in 1923 and was resurrected last season in what is hoped to be an annual fixture. This time it was GHK’s turn to travel to Belfast. It was an ideal opportunity for Instonians to try out their large senior squad following many changes in both the coaching team and players in the closed season. It allowed a number of new combinations to be tested. It proved to be a free-flowing, close-run fixture in which the lead changed hands on a number of occasions. Because Glasgow travelled without a “seasoned” front row the game was played throughout with uncontested scrums. 

It was GHK who started well but soon Instonians were on the attack after a scrum on their 40 metre line. Big second row Rory McCurry, back after a season off, was put through a gap to gallop clear and score under the posts. New out-half Scott McLean converted to put Instonians 7-0 up after 8 minutes. Back came Glasgow. They soon had a try of their own when they won a line out inside the 22 after a penalty. They tested the home defence and then burst clear for an unconverted try to bring the score to 7-5 after 11 minutes.

Scores were coming thick and fast. Instonian winger Colm Cregan burst clear and when GSK went off-side at the breakdown Instonians kicked for the corner. They set up a strong driving maul. It was no surprise to see front row Conor Gallagher crash over for a try converted by McClean to put the home side 14-5 up on 17 minutes. Instonians almost had another try after this. It came when Glasgow overthrew at a line out just 15 metres out from the Instonian line. Instonians secured the ball and broke out. Centre Joe Fryers was racing clear for what looked like a great try when the referee pulled him back after judging that a would-be tackler was impeded in the move.

Indiscipline at the breakdown began to cost Instonians dear. They conceded two penalties in their 22 which gave Glasgow the chance to exert a lot of pressure. Eventually they were rewarded with their second try which, when converted, brought the score back to 14-12 on the half-hour. Almost immediately they were on the scoreboard again. They turned over an Instonian move and then kicked ahead.  In the race for the touchdown Instonians allowed themselves to be shouldered out of the way to give Glasgow a simple try bringing the score to 14-17. Although Glasgow had a penalty shot a goal with the last kick of the half this was how the score stood at half time.

Things were not looking good for Instonians in the first minutes of the second period. They were turned over deep in the Glasgow half to let them break clear and score another converted try at the posts to put the score at 14-24. Instonians steadied after that and soon had two quick tries of their own.  Out half Scott Mclean had his second try under the posts which he converted and then Wayne Kelly raced in after a good period of pressure. Although unconverted Instonians were back in the lead 26-24 with about 20 minutes remaining.

Unfortunately, they were unable to kick on from this. In fact Glasgow held most of the possession and territory during this period. It looked like they were going to hold out for a slender win when they kicked deep into the Glasgow half. Glasgow knocked on from the line out and all Instonians had to do was hold the ball from the ensuing scrum and see out the game. But they too knocked on to give Glasgow the fateful scrum from which they launched their final attack to score from their own 22.

It had been an entertaining game played in good spirits and will help Instonians to “blood” a new squad for the season ahead.

We wish GHK well for their season and hope to see them again next year.

Photos (two there this week!!):

Bill Lockhart


Charles Beaumont






Season Ahead


1st XV





17 Aug 19

Friendly - GHK (H)




24 aug 19

Friendly - TBC


31 Aug 19

L - Carrickfergus (H)


7 Sept 19

L - Grosvenor (A)


14 Sept 19

Junior Cup Rd 1 - Bye


21 Sept 19

L - Portadown (H)


28 Sept 19



5 Oct 19

Junior Cup Rd 2


12 Oct 19

Conf - Armagh 2 (H)


19 Oct 19

L - Enniskillen (A)


26 Oct 19

All Ire Junior Cup Rd 1 - Crosshaven (H)


2 Nov 19

L - Clogher Valley (H)


9 Nov 19

Junior Cup Qtr Final


16 Nov 19

Conf - Ballynahinch 2 (A) or All Ire Jnr Cup QF


23 Nov 19

L - Ballyclare (A)


30 Nov 19

Junior Cup Semi Final


7 Dec 19

L - Dromore (H)


14 Dec 19

L - Cooke (A) or All Ire Junior Cup Semi Final


21 Dec 19

L - Grosvenor (H)


28 Dec 19

L - Carrickfergus (A)


4 Jan 20


11 Jan 20



18 Jan 20

L - Portadown (A)


25 Jan 20

L - Enniskillen (H) or All Ire Junior Cup Final


1 Feb 20


8 Feb 20


15 Feb 20

L - Clogher Valley (A)


22 Feb 20


29 Feb 20

L - Ballyclare (H)


7 Mar 20


14 Mar 20

L - Dromore (A)


21 Mar 20

L - Cooke (H)


28 Mar 20

Round Robin 1


4 Apr 20

Round Robin 2


11 Apr 20 (Easter)


18 Apr 20

Round Robin 3


25 Apr 20

Play Off