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Upper class sees Sullivan go through

Sullivan Upper 16 Foyle & L’Derry Coll 0

Sullivan Upper probably warranted their victory but the visitors were dangerous on a number of occasions and the home defence had to dig deep frequently.

The home side have had a number of injuries and have lacked match practice over the past weeks.

They started well with a penalty in the third minute when Jamie Carr, son of British Lion Nigel kicked a penalty.

There was ebbing and flowing for the next twenty minutes before Sullivan increased their advantage. Hamish Graham broke through in the centre and handed off his opposite number before running in at the corner for an unconverted try.

In injury time in the first half Sullivan struck at the right psychological moment with a second try. A penalty was taken quickly on the left and Callum Montgomery made good ground before an inside pass found Josh Burnside.

The scrum-half then charged in from ten metres out to give his team a 13-0 interval lead.

Sullivan were much the better team at this stage with players Oliver Loughead, Harry Eves, Conor McCollum and Graham all showing their skills.

The Londonderry team did come more into the tie after the restart but they found the home defence far too difficult to penetrate.

David Murdock, Nicholas Donnelly and Aaron Patterson gave their best but they were making little impact on a determined Sullivan team.

Foyle did well to overcome Cambridge House in the previous round but the Holywood team were a different challenge. They certainly didn't play as well but were given few opportunities to show their capabilities.

As the tie progressed Foyle realised they had to attack more and in doing so they gave away a number of penalties. After twenty minutes Sullivan made sure with a long range Graham penalty.

After the game Sullivan coach Mike Rodgers commented: “We haven't played a match since Rainey on Dec 19 and this is one of the disadvantages of being ‘seeded'. It is good to have a competitive game, getting the boys out but I suppose the delay has also helped us to reduce our injury list. Our defence was good and the forwards dominated the scrums and set pieces. We competed well in the loose but we still have a lot to offer yet.”

Sullivan Upper: T.Warwick, O.Matthews, R.Adair, H.Eves, T.Stevenson, K.Todd, R.Montgomery, J.Gilmore, R.Foye, R.McCandless, H.Graham, D.Floyd, J.Carr, J.Burnside, S.Chisholm, K.Pouagholi, C.Montgomery, W.Brown, C.McCollum, M.Scott, O.Loughead, H.Ansty.

Foyle/Londonderry College: J.Arthur, I.Vance, M.Kilgore, M.Gillespie, P.Blennerhassett, A.Wilson, D.Murdock, J.Rankin, C.Cummings, P.Warnock, M.Hanna, C.Ramsey, G.Dunn, C.Campbell, T.Burns, A.Patterson, L.McClements, O.McGinley, S.McGahon, J.Cairns, J.Thompson, P.Brown

Referee: N.Robertson

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