Dalriada made the long journey to Newtownards and came away with an good win 22-19.
From the kick off with both teams eager for a result, Regent, being the bigger team, took the direct route down the middle.
Some phases passed with not much ground made by the men in red and white. This was until Dalriada infringed at the ruck and gave them a penalty to take them to half way again.
Dalriada stole the lineout brilliantly through Jack Horsburgh. Three phases later and Dalriada’s captain, Angus Johnston, broke the line and outpaced the Regent back three to score the opening try only a few minutes in. The game played out the same way for the next ten minutes of the half; Regent getting penalties at the rucks and then picking and going towards the Dalriada line, until eventually, they broke through the tough Dalriada defence to score.
Dalriada’s heads did not drop however, with a few phases later, the captain again bursting through a gap and dummying the Regent winger to score just left of the uprights. The men in red and white kicked off again and Dalriada this time playing to their strengths; hitting it up with the forwards and then some quick hands by the backs. This worked well and they made a good amount of ground from it, getting the ball from one side of the pitch and back, allowing a good hole to emerge for fullback Thomas Hunter to exploit.
He used his immense pace and stepping ability to score under the posts. Outside centre Stewart Moore converted.
The second half kicked off with Dalriada receiving. Some loose play initially but scrum half Matthew McConaghie sent an excellent box kick down field to relieve the pressure. The Regent boys came back strong however, breaking the Dalriada line out in the centre of the pitch, and creating a break but were stopped short of the line. The Regent boys took full advantage of the hole in the defence to score near the posts. They converted. Dalriada had to play to the conditions of the pitch and playing tactically at the rucks, gaining ground after a series of penalties.
Lineouts had been going Dalriada’s way all day, with Regent only winning a handful of the many that occurred. Some quick hands in midfield by Andrew Stevenson, and Alan Montgomery gave Dennis Posternak room to make some ground. A series of ‘pick and go’s by Dalriada and Aaron Christie was over the line. This gave Dalriada a comfortable lead with the score at 22-12. Regent kicked the game off but some miscommunication from the Dalriada players and the Regent No. 8 was able to run, catch the ball and score without a hand being laid on him. Regent’s outhalf, Robbie Johnston converted to make the score 22-19 to Dalriada.
Both teams were getting possession and losing it a minute or two later. Dalriada were making ground slowly, until hooker, Jack Dowey ran into the Regent second row’s chest with his shoulder, and try scorer Aaron Christie hitting him a second later on his chin. He had received a neck injury so the teams had to switch pitches. Regent had a penalty anyway and play resumed with that. Although, a few minutes and some excellent lineouts later, the game was over, with Dalriada as the victors; the score, Dalriada 22-19 Regent House.
Dalriada U13 played Regent House at home on Saturday and came away convincing winners with a score of 39-10.
Dalriada started the match strongly, immediately attacking in the Regent half and coming away with an early score from No.8 Thomas Hadden after a pick and go from the back of a scrum. Dalriada then started to move the ball wide, through Lenon McKeeman and Dean Miller who both made strong runs to score a try a piece. It was Regent who finished the half on top, scoring a try of their own after a lapse in concentration in the Dalriada defence. Half time score 17-5.
Dalriada began the second half with a renewed intensity, determined not to let the visitors back into the game, they scored an early try through elusive full back Caleb Moore. The game started to break up, suiting Dalriada’s dangerous running backs and a further try each was scored by Miller and Moore. Regent never gave up and scored a second try later in the half but the home team had the final say with a well-deserved score from hard running centre, Timmy Castles. Conversions by Jamie Henry and Adam Cuthbert. Final score 39-10. Man of the match Dean Miller.