Several players missing and lack of matches/training in last 4 weeks showed. Mistakes cost dearly.
Clougher Valley took on Larne as we approach the mid-way point of the opening
rounds of the Nutty Krust tournament. It was another bitterly cold night at Chambers
Park but a fair crowd gathered hoping for an entertaining contest.
Clougher Valley kicked off a few minutes after the scheduled 7.45 and Larne were
straight on the offensive. Good early pressure earned Larne a penalty within the
second minute which was taken well by Philip Andrews, giving Larne the early initative.
The opening twenty minutes saw both teams battling it out in the middle of the park
with Larne often finding themselves in attack but unable to deliver. Clougher
had their first major attack on the 20 minute mark but they lacked that little
piece of class to find themselves over the line and Larne cleared.
Larne were looking the better team, Clougher were struggling to find hands in their
passing which was really hindering any chance of a strong attack. A fantastic drop
goal on the 25minute mark doubled Larne’s lead but Clougher still looked very much
in the game.
Larne found themselves with another penalty in a good position but refused the kick
and tried to force the try. It paid off. Raw power from Bobby Warwick smashed
through Clougher’s backs and over the line just a few minutes before half time with
Clougher didn’t give up though and mounted another strong attack which seemed destined
to end with five points but Larne’s dogged defence led to a fantastic counter attack.
Jordan Burns ran the length of the pitch and scored between the posts just before the
whistle. Andrews converted leaving Larne 20 points to the good with no reply at the half
Larne kicked off and Clougher put them under immediate pressure but once again their
inability to deliver good passes when it mattered left them ineffectual in attack.
Larne earned themselves another penalty on the ten minute mark which was duly converted
by the ever reliable Andrews. Burns found himself on the score sheet again 5 minutes
later after another great run.
Clougher maintained pressure whilst in possession but there was no way through Larne’s
lines and never really looked overly dangerous. A fantastic interception from – who
else – Jordan Burns and further conversion from Andrews had Larne 35 points ahead with
less than 5 minutes to go. Clougher still pushed for a consolation but the match finished
Larne – 35 Clougher Valley 0.
The man of the match award deservedly went to Jordan Burns whose contribution to the
team could well have been the difference between a tight game and the rout that it was