STRABANE Rugby Club firsts made it three wins out of three to continue their strong start to the Kukri Ulster Championship Three season with a hard-fought bonus point win over Civil Service in Belfast on Saturday.
Strabane went into the game as slight favourites but that tag was quickly dispersed as a determined Civil Service side scored the opening try of the match. A storming run from the home No 8, off the back of a lineout, led to the first touchdown after many missed tackles put the visitors on the backfoot early on.Strabane needed to compose themselves and it was their pack that provided the platform from which to build as the forward eight began to dominate.
The visitors won their own scrums and put a lot of pressure on Civil Service at the set-piece. This allowed Strabane’s backline to get into the game with their pace and quick hands. Tries from Ruairi Lynch and Ali Ferguson left the score line at 12-7 to the Tyrone outfit with all to play for going into the second half.Strabane’s tackling in defence made it extremely difficult for Civil Service to get any fluidity into their passing game and the visitors forced several turnovers.
A try from Gordan Baird took the pressure off Strabane a little and the bonus point was secured when captain Ali Ferguson went over after another strong scrum from his pack.The Strabane Devels squad also fielded at home on Saturday against City of Derry III and secured a 10-6 win over their local rivals with Steven Torrens crossing the whitewash for two tries.
Another strong performance from flanker Gavin Reid ensured the Devels secured their first victory of the season.Strabane firsts entertain Monaghan this coming Saturday.
With both sides still undefeated it will surely be an extremely tough game and a real test for the home side’s ambitions for this season. Kick-off is 2.30pm at the Liskey Road Campus.
Training continues on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8pm in Clady.Strabane mini and youth rugby continues this Saturday at 10am at Strabane Cricket Club. All new players welcome.