COLERAINE maintained their cup record on Saturday with an emphatic win over Banbridge Seconds.
The performance means that Coleraine progress in both the All-Ireland and now the Ulster Junior Cup. This week, however, attention must again return to the league and a win against Belfast side CIYMS is a must to move away from the current next to bottom position.
Coach Richard Kernohan was very pleased with the team performance at the weekend and is looking forward to building on that as the league season continues. With little by way of injury coming from the game, and some new faces having the chance to perform strongly for the senior team, there is going to be a lot of competition for places for this weekís match.
In the match itself Coleraine quickly stamped their authority on proceedings. As both sides settled into the game Coleraine put in a forceful attack
David Andrews and Stephen Dickey made the running before passing to Paul Roxborough for the touchdown. Andrews converted.
Both sides vied for control and within the first half hour both had unsuccessful penalty attempts as attacks were pressed home.
With 35 minutes gone Coleraine scored again. Roxborough and Peter Bogle made great ground on the right wing and then from a quick penalty Andrew Neely popped up and forced his way over the line. Andrews converted.
From the restart Coleraine were again on the offensive and, when Stuart Simpson made the initial break, Brian Cochrane was on hand to sprint to the line, then turn in to touch down near the posts.
As the half drew to a close there was a sustained attack on the Coleraine try line. Banbridge attacked from a five-metre lineout and almost gained a try but for the referee getting caught up in the play.
They moved to a series of five Banbridge scrums and Coleraine were forced to dig deep in defence. In the end the visitors lost possession as they struggled to breach the Coleraine lines and the whistle went for half time.
The second half started with Coleraine enjoying a 21-0 lead. Within a minute that had been extended.
From the restart Coleraine gained possession and strong play in the centre of the park saw Cochrane again attack with an incisive side-stepping break. Jonny Henderson was in close support and when he got the ball he sprinted away on the wing to score. Andrews was on form and slotted the conversion over.
Twelve minutes into the half Coleraine had fought their way deep into the visitorsí 22. Banbridge had the put-in to a five metre scrum but the dominant Coleraine pack pushed them off the ball and Roxborough was on hand to touch down. The penalty awarded saw the conversion taken in front of the posts and Andrews made no mistakes from close range, bringing the score to 35-0.
A short time later, as Coleraine again attacked, Roxborough, the playersí man of the match, was central in making a great break. Nial Irwin made full use of the overlap to sprint to the line in the corner. The conversion went just wide.
Coleraine again attacked, Andrews drilling the ball into the opposition 22, Irwin chasing and securing possession, with Dickey on hand to support. The pack followed, captain Jonny Gault leading by example, picking and driving over the line for the try. Andrews converted.
The final score went to Dickey. Coleraine were deep in the Banbridge 22 as Irwin made the decisive break. David Ferguson also made good ground before passing to Dickey to cross the line for the final five points, the conversion drifting wide and the whistle bringing proceedings to an end.
The final score 52-0 to Coleraine.
The dates and fixtures for the semis of the Junior Cup have yet to be finalised but the teams will be Coleraine, Ballymena Seconds, Donaghadee and Portadown.
On Saturday Coleraine are at home to CIYMS, kick-off 2.30pm. The side will be looking to carry forward the momentum of the cup games to the league and come away with a good performance.
In other matches the scores were Coleraine Thirds 72 Limavady Seconds 10, Coleraine U19s 11 Ballymoney U19s 24
Coleraine First XV: S Jefferson (Stirling), D Ferguson, A Gaston, R Cochrane, J Gault, P Bogle, A Neely (Gourley), S Dickey, P Roxborough, D Andrews, D Orr, J Henderson, S Simpson, N Irwin, B Cochrane. Subs A Stirling, A Gourley
COLERAINE TOO STRONG FOR
Coleraine 1st XV earned a place in the semi finals of the Millar, McCall and Wylie Junior Cup, on Saturday, with an emphatic, 52-0 victory at home to Banbridge 2nd XV.
The visitors had defeated Dromore, recent conquerors of Coleraine in the league, to enter the quarter final draw, so clearly could not be taken lightly by the home side but two converted tries in a 90 second interval, after half an hourís play left Coleraine 21 points clear at the break and the Sandel Lodge boys ran in a further 5 tries during a one sided second half.
The weather was perfect for running rugby, barely a breath of wind and dry underfoot and the Bannsiders immediately attacked on a wide front.
Brian Cochrane ran strongly before feeding Niall Irwin with the young winger narrowly failing to make the line and Stuart Simpson and David Orr threatened with ball in hand before David Andrews and David Ferguson misread each otherís intentions and the try scoring opportunity was lost.
After 10 minutes however, Andrews, Stephen Dickey, who ran some great lines during the game and Paul Roxborough, combined well for the scrum half to run in between the posts for an excellent score, with Andrews converting. 7-0.
The home XV continued to press but conceded penalties on more than one occasion when handily placed and although Simpson went close it took some fine defensive work by Peter Bogle to rescue the situation when Banbridge broke out in the 25th minute.
The same player then combined with Roxborough on the narrow side to carry play from halfway to deep inside Banbridge territory and after Andrews had been illegally halted in the shadow of the posts, Roxborough ran the penalty and Andy Neely powered his way over for a try which Andrews converted. 14-0. Simpson was the man who made a telling contribution at the restart, bursting through the defensive line and linking with Brian Cochrane who raced clear for another try, converted by Andrews. 21-0.
The visitors then enjoyed their best spell of the contest, kicking deep into the Coleraine 22 following a penalty award and subjecting the home defence to a serious examination with a series of 5metre scrums and on one occasion coming tantalisingly close to crossing the whitewash in the left hand corner but the half-time whistle blew with the scoreline unchanged.
The second half began badly for the visitors, fluffing their lines with a poor kick-off and from a centre-field scrum, the half backs created space which Cochrane exploited before a well timed pass sent winger Johnny Henderson over for try number five. Andrews added the extras. 28-0.
An increasingly confident Coleraine team continued to manufacture chances and the visitorís problems were exacerbated after 55 minutes when hooker Ross was sin binned. Two minutes later the Banbridge forwards were shunted back at a 5 metre scrum and Roxborough pounced for his 2nd try. Andrews duly converted. 35-0.
Coleraine subs Alan Stirling and Alex Gourley had joined the action by this stage and the latter was involved in a sweeping attack which culminated in a try for Irwin in the 70th minute with Andrews failing, for once, to convert. 40-0.
Skipper Johnny Gaultís strong performance was rewarded with a 75th minute try, Stirling and Dickey having featured prominently in the build-up. Andrews converted and the scoring was completed when the threequarters spread the ball wide to Irwin and 2 of the best performers on the day, Ferguson and Dickey linked to send the latter over for a well deserved unconverted try. 52-0.
Subs ; Stirling.A., Gourley.A.