On a misty and fresh September morning the Down High U13 squad travelled to Larne to kick of their first full season of rugby. Captained by William Orr, the boys were ready to play some good rugby.
From the first blow of the whistle, the tackling and rucking skills of the Down High forwards kept Larne from getting out of their own 22. Some nice flowing rugby and two tries in quick succession by Rhys Phillips gave the boys a well deserved lead from early on.
Some smashing tackling from forwards Joshua Hanlon, Shea Preston and Daniel Reid made Larne nervous and they made some silly mistakes. The Down High pack was very much controlling the game.
Then from the skill full passing combination from scrum half Luka Walsh and out half Charlie Gibson created a
gap for Jonathan Graham to run through and score his first of the match.
Down High were not for giving Larne any chances as when they had ball they always looked menacing when they had it. Just before the first half ended a quick turn around from the scrum gave Larne a gifted try. Down responded with strong tackling by the likes of Jakob Cross and Ben Gibson keeping Down high where they wanted to be.
Half time - Down High 19, with Walsh converting two of the three hard conversions, and Larne on 5 points with a single unconverted try.
The second half kicked off with Louis Bucknall catching and showing his strength by running through a couple of defenders then passing to Gibson who gave a quick pass to Graham for him to run from the half way line to
score his second try. This was followed by some quick speed by Graham to score his hat trick. The speedy pair of wingers, Drew Armstong and Oliver Henry Down High gained many yards throughout the game.
Then with an explosive burst of strength, Fergal Mooney got over to score Down High's sixth try of the day.
A good run by Joel McKibben allowed him to get through some defenders and make a lot of ground. A few minutes later he gave Down High another chance as he passed to Graham. Graham then showed another quick burst of speed and was supported by Reuben Dickson who took the pass before showing his pace and strength to dive to the corner and score a try.
Larne got over the try line again through a couple of missed tackles and a strong attacker. The forward substitutes of Williamson and McCormick showed that they were ready to play by some great rucking and
tackling skills. Reid then showed his amazing strength and went over close to the end. Soon after, the skill of Charlie Gibson, gave him the last of Down Highs nine tries. A good day on the pitch!
Man of the Match: Jonathan Graham