Tough trip to Cavan
Tough trip to Cavan
Ophir 1st XV, supported amongst others by Autotrim and Biffa, travelled to Clones last Saturday to meet Cavan in the Qualifying League. The match was played at the Peace Link, an iconic state of the art sporting facility on the edge of the town, because Cavan's main pitch is undergoing major renovation. For the first time, Ophir played on a very modern 3G surface which proved ideal for purpose, despite some early confusion with multiple line markings.
Cavan took the early initiative and their strong running backs caused havoc in the Ophir defence. It often took two or three Ophir men to stop an attack and the consequent gaps left the Ophir backs scrambling to cover. Inevitably the breakthrough came after just 7 minutes when the Cavan scrum half took the ball from the base of a set scrum close to the Ophir line and dived through to touch down. The conversion attempt failed but within 4 minutes the Cavan out half had added a second try. Again the conversion missed and from the restart Ophir managed to gain ground towards the Cavan line. But handling errors let them down and the Cavan full back took loose ball the length of the pitch and he was only stopped by a last ditch tackle on the line. With great support play the wing forward crashed over the line and the first successful conversion put Cavan 17 - 0 ahead. The home team ran in two more tries before Ophir made it back into the opposition half. Out half Alan Davidson made a great break and in the tackle Ryan Largy picked up and had a clear run to the line. But the referee had spotted the marginal knock on in the tackle and the opportunity was lost.
Trailing 27 - 0 at half time, Ophir were left a mountain to climb and within just 4 minutes it was Everest. Two more tries, one converted, stretched Cavan's lead to 39 points. But Ophir didn't give up and another great break by Alan Davidson supported by hooker Ricky Press got the visitors close to the line and scrum half Ben Lowry added the finishing touch. Two more tries, one converted, took Cavan to 51 - 5 but Ophir weren't yet finished. Centre Ryan Largy stole possession in a tackle and got the ball for second row Philip Adgey to crash over. But Cavan replied in typical fashion with a final converted try, to leave them well deserved winners by 58 points to 12.