1st XV win 38-20 at home to Cooke 1st XV

Instonians 1st XV had their first encounter with Cooke 1st XV of the 21/22 season.

From past experience both sides knew to expect a passionate battle and Saturday did not disappoint.

The day had started with a sold out pre-match lunch of over 100 people. Well done Owen Lambert on his team for the organisation and quality of the event. Chris and his team produced a fabulous meal and Paul and his team kept people “watered” all day!!

The lunches are now planned to give people plenty of time to talk and also time to get pitch side for the kick off.

The strong wind was mostly across the pitch towards the club house but slightly towards the large car park.

Cooke played the first half with the slight wind advantage.

Their kick off went out on the full and gave Instonians a scrum from the middle of the park. It was the perfect start for Instonians, from the scrum the ball was moved through phases and eventually good hands down the blind-side through Matthew Keane, Bevan Prinsloo and Ali Burke to put winger Zak Davison in at the corner. Conversion missed.

Score 5-0

From the restart the match was end to end, Instonians turning over the first Cooke scrum. Some attacking Instonians mauls were well defended by Cooke. Instonians silly penalties and some poor D eventually had Cooke attacking the Instonians line. This eventually led to a well taken try out wide by Cooke.

Score 5-5

The game continued at pace with both side running the ball. Eventually good Instonians pressure led to a penalty in the Cooke 22. Kick to the left corner led to lineout, maul and touch down by hooker Neill Saulters. Converted by Matthew Keane.

Score 12-5

Now it was Cookes turn to put phases together in the Instonians 22 and eventually their 2nd row crashed over for a converted try to level the match. Game certainly on.

Score 12-12

In this fluctuating game it was Instonians turn to pressurise the Cooke line but Cooke scramble D held on. Instonians came right back with another lineout in the Cooke 22, this time on the right, the maul made ground then after some good phases player coach Paul Pritchard cashed over and converted by Matthew Keane

Score 19-12

As halftime approached some Instonians mistakes had play back in its 22. During an attempt to run the ball out Instonians were penalised at the breakdown and the resultant penalty was slotted over and halftime blew.

Score 19-15


The second half started as in the first half with both sides moving the ball as much as possible. Gaps started to appear with David Scott beginning to make some great runs. The play was mostly in the Cooke half. The pressure eventually led to Cooke being penalised at the ruck. Kick to corner, Instonians secured the lineout, strong maul eventually touched down by Neill Saulters. Matthew Keane converted. Bonus point secured.

Score 26-15

It was becoming all Instonians at this stage as the Cooke pack started to tire. Clever kicking kept the play mostly in the Cooke 22. From pressure at a Cooke lineout Instonians stole the ball and the Cooke defence did well to hold up Bevan Prinsloo over their line.

From the Cooke drop kick from their line, Instonians were immediately back on the attack. Ali Burkes turn to make some ground. Good hands and eventually scrum half Matthew Keane saw a gap and beat about 3 defenders to stretch over the line for a try which he converted.

Score 33-15

As the match entered the last quarter both sides did not stop and continued to entertain the crowd.

Instonians won another penalty that they kicked to the right corner, this time when the maul was stopped they moved the ball through a couple of phases and put Michael Melville in at the corner. Hard conversion missed.

Score 38-15

Cooke never gave up and as the clock ran down were rewarded with a lineout in the Instonians 22 which they scored from.

Score 38-20

Time ran out for Cooke to get a fourth try and bonus point.

Final whistle blew.

Final score 38-20

An entertaining game from start to finish, a credit to both sides. Well done to the ref for allowing the game to flow.

That completes the first half of the League, now we get to do it all again. No wonder the Ulster teams are knackered by the time they reach the playoffs!!


Report of match from the Front Row Union



Next match:

Saturday 4th December

Away to Rainey Old Boys 2nd XV

Junior Cup

Get yourself organised to travel to Magherafelt and cheer on the team, they deserve it.