Jason Morgan's delight as Bangor end Junior Cup wait
Instonians 5-7 Bangor
Bangor lifted the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup for the first time last night thanks to a 7-5 win over holders Instonians at the Kingspan Stadium.
The North Down club trailed for much of the game but, with only 10 minutes remaining, a try from top scorer Curtis Stewart levelled matters and Mark Widdowson added the conversion to earn the win.
After seven previous final defeats, player/coach Jason Morgan was thrilled. "It's fantastic," he beamed. "We looked at the history during the week. We were really determined that we wanted to leave something for the club to remember us by."
The Kukri Qualifying One leaders began the game well but found last season's champions in a stubborn mood.
They were camped in the opposition corner during the opening five minutes but, despite giving away a pair of penalties, Inst's defence remained resolute on their own try-line.
After being pinged, Instonians captain Glenn Baxter saw yellow for the accumulation of penalties against his team. Playing with 14 men, Instonians not only held firm but took the lead.
Winger Robbie Kirk's determined chase of Richard McCarthy's kick saw Bangor forced into conceding a penalty and gave the south Belfast side a line-out on the opposing 22.
Kirk saw an opening and darted through to score. McCarthy's conversion drifted wide but William Leacock's men had the all-important lead.
Bangor continued to build pressure but could not force a score, even when Instonians were shown a second yellow after Andrew McGregor stopped a quick line-out. When the full-back returned five minutes after the turn, his side still led 5-0 and so it remained until the 70th minute.
Bangor's David Bradford forced a key turnover and led his side deep into opposing territory.
When all but three of their players piled into a rolling maul, however, they eventually forced their way across the whitewash.
Widdowson's lofted conversion proved the difference. There was still time for Inst but, when Bangor were caught off their feet, sub fly-half Fraser Wright could not drag his penalty inside the posts
BANGOR: Ross McCloskey; David Charles, Rob Gamble, Desi Fusco, Mark Widdowson; Jason Morgan, Jason Gutherie; Michael Ferguson, Andrew Jackson, Phil Whyte, Darren Kelly, Craig Burton, David Bradford, Jamie Clegg (capt), Curtis Stewart. Replacements: Orran McIlmurray, Patrick Dornan, David Caughey, Mike Weir, Adam McCusker.
INSTONIANS: Andrew McGregor; Matt Kilpatrick, Joe Fryers, Rory Bell, Robbie Kirk; Richard McCarthy; Matthew Keane; Conor Gallagher, Glen Baxter (capt), Alan Whitten, Harry Cleland, James Le Broy, Robert Whitten, Matt Dawson, Rory McCurry. Replacements: Josh Cregan, Paddy Bell, Lewis McNamara, Fraser Wright, Josh Lewis.