Coleraine RFC take top spot with win over Limavady

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Bannsiders go top with a bonus point win over Limavady while nearest rivals C.I.Y.M.S lose to Grosvenor

Coleraine claimed number one spot in the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship, Division Two, after a bonus point victory at Limavady on Saturday.

It was a hard fought encounter but in the second half Coleraine secured the win and bonus point with three tries. At the same time league rivals CIYMS lost out to Grosvenor by one point, putting Coleraine two points clear at the top with a game still in hand.

The results set up a mouthwatering encounter for CI and Coleraine this weekend when the Belfast team travel to Coleraine for what is sure to be a high intensity game. The game could be the defining moment for league honours for both teams and there is sure to be a massive crowd on the sidelines to cheer both teams on.

After the Limavady game Coleraine head coach Richard Boyd said: "We are very happy to get another win on the road.
"Limavady have had a promising season and have some talented players at their disposal. We knew it was going to be a tough encounter and the weather conditions were going to be a real leveller.
"I thought we showed great character after conceding an early try and our pack were dominant throughout. I was pleased with our scrum and maul today and it really gave us an edge.
"Alan Clarke showed excellent form with the boot and was the deserved man of the match with a personal tally of 16 points."To score four tries in those conditions and shut down a good Limavady team was really pleasing and it also shows we can adapt to different conditions when required. To go top of the league is an added bonus and gives us real confidence going into the next two important games."


And there is more to come for the coleraine men. Richard said: "We look forward to taking on CIYMS at home next week. They will be up for the game and looking to bounce back from their defeat today but we will be fully focused and ready.
"It should be an excellent game of rugby and I would encourage all local supporters to get down and cheer the team on and make it a big occasion."

In the game at Limavady the home team started strongly and secured the first points with an unconverted try scored by Mark Woods.
The next points came from the boot of Coleraine's Alan Clarke with a well struck penalty. Before the break Coleraine secured the lead with a try from Steven Dickey, converted by Clarke.


In the second half, after six minutes, Limavady had a player sin-binned and Coleraine were awarded a penalty try, converted by Clarke.
Clarke continued his man of the match performance by scoring a try on the wing and then securing the extras.
Limavady's David Houston scored a converted try before Coleraine's Brian Cochrane intercepted a  Limavady pass to sprint over the line and score. Clarke again converted leaving the final score Limavady 12-31 Coleraine.

Next up for Coleraine is the potentioal season-defining clash between the Bannsiders and second placed C.I.Y.M.S


Words By Milne Rowntree

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