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Bangor's youth delights Clegg

By Jonathan Bradley

Bangor dramatically returned to form to comfortably beat CIYMS in a Kukri Qualifying 1 tussle at Upritchard Park on Saturday afternoon.

A fixture that was once a staple of the Ulster Senior League calendar now represented a battle for third place in the province's top junior division and it was the hosts who stormed into a 14-point lead as early as the first quarter.

The north Down side had began the campaign strongly after their promotion last year, but going into Saturday's contest had lost three of the last four games with the sole victory coming against bottom of the table UUC.

C.I, meanwhile, had lost only one league game since being defeated by table-topping Portadown back in late September and will have been confident of using that momentum to their advantage.

However, such is the nature of festive fixtures, both sides were missing regular starters and Bangor captain Jamie Clegg was pleased by how Bangor's makeshift side gelled quicker their opponents.

He said: "We're pretty delighted to get the win today. We had a pretty shocking performance against Donaghadee and then lost again last week to Portadown.

"The boys stepped up and it was a few of the young guys that came into the side today who gave big performances.

"We've two tough games coming up with City of Derry in the cup and then Clogher Valley so we'll know more after that but we're confident we can keep it going."

CIYMS had the first opportunity to open the scoring, Matt McGuigan's tough penalty attempt veering off target just minutes into the game..

The home pack recycled possession with a great efficiency and pick and goes proved to be a particularly effective offensive weapon.

Soon after, Bangor out-half Jason Morgan dashed through a gaping hole in the defensive line before stepping inside his opposite number to score underneath the posts.

Neil Cuthbertson was left with simple task of a conversion from a central position and Bangor led 7-0.

C.I were barely given time to gather their thoughts before Bangor crossed the line again with James Henley going over.

Again, Cuthbertson had no problem with the conversion and kicked his side into a 14 point lead after just over a quarter of an hour.

As the game entered its second quarter, matters worsened for C.I when Cuthbertson added a penalty and Scott was forced off with a quad injury.

However, Bangor were then forced to spend a prolonged period of the match with depleted numbers after Clegg and then Morgan were shown yellow.

C.I hauled themselves back in the game when McGuigan and Neil Wallace combined to put Andy Hodgen into space and the centre powered over.

However, the visitors could not carry that momentum into the second half.

Indeed, when a lengthy run from full-back David Charles produced Bangor's third score of the game, a hugely impressive four-try bonus point for the hosts seemed likely.

Ultimately, their efforts were derailed late in the contest when, for the second time over the course of the afternoon, Morgan was carded for an intentional knock.

Belfast Telegraph


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