Dalriada got their new season started on Saturday with five teams in action.
Players had been put through a pre-season programme in preparation for their fixtures. The season goes through from September to generally March with fixtures most weekends. The opener was against Grosvenor from East Belfast and Dalriada came away with a mixed outcome. Both senior teams lost while the medallion team, hit badly by injuries and unavailability earned an excellent 31-31 draw. The u14’s had an outstanding win while the u13’s focussing very much on giving all their 32 players some game time, lost narrowly 10-5.
The Medallion squad got their 2011/12 season under way this Saturday with a hard fought draw against a strong Grosvenor side.
Dalriada with a squad of only 15 due to injury and players playing out of position got off to a flying start with a quick fire double, both tries scored by flanker Robert Hunter and converted by Aaron Sparks. Dalriada now with a 14-0 lead began complacent and allowed Grosvenor back into the game with two tries.
The score at half time 14-12 to Dalriada.
Dalriada started the second half sluggishly and Grosvenor took the lead for the first time 14-19. After a long period without any points, a great solo effort saw Aaron Sparks go over the line which he also converted to make the score 21-19 to Dalriada.
Unfortunately, whatever Dalriada did Grosvenor matched, scoring again to make it 21-24.
Halfway through the second half Dalriada started putting some real pressure on Grosvenor, and a well worked backline move lead to another try right in the corner by Michael Finnerty giving a of lead 26-24. Grosvenor then retaliated well to score another converted try, 26-31 to Grosvenor. Dalriada then with another wave of pressure led to a five metre line-out.
Ben Graham passed the ball short in the line out for Scott Malcomson to score in the corner bringing the score to 31 all. Dalriada kept the pressure on the Grosvenor line but couldn’t find the winning points with the game finishing in a draw.
The diluted Dalriada side can take a lot of positives out of the match and regroup for next week’s game with some of their team back from injury.
Dalriada U14 XV played their first match of the season on Saturday by playing Grosvenor at home. The match began at a frantic pace and the Dalriada pack more than held their own against their much heavier opposition.
The first try came on five minutes after some strong, elusive running from Matthew Lockhart. The Dalriada men soon settled into their groove and begun flinging the ball from wing to wing with ease scoring again with winger Gavin McCaughern on 13 minutes.
The final score of the half came from No. 8 Alan Montgomery after a strong run breaking several tackles. All three tries were converted by Louis Warke leaving the half-time score at 21-0. It wasn’t more than five minutes into the second half before Gavin McCaughern was on the score sheet again with another blistering run outpacing his opposite man and the fullback. It was at this point the Dalriada men hit a purple patch scoring four more tries in the next 12 minutes! Tries came from winger Louis Warke, Gavin McCaughern and two from Matthew Lockhart, the two later players both now having scored three tries each! Louis Warke converted three more of these tries leaving the final score at 52-0.
Next week’s fixture is against Rainey School and the 1st XV will looking to defend the the Topping Trophy which is played annually between the two schools in memorial of former P.E. teacher Arthur Topping who taught in both schools. The game is scheduled to kick off at 10.15 at Dalriada and all support is welcomed