In round one of the Ulster Bank League 10/12 Ulster teams picked up points from the opening weekend with 11/12 teams in round two.. This has been an encouraging start for Ulster clubs in the league this season. In round one 5/7 teams won away from home with 3/5 in round two. Banbridge, Ballynahinch and Ballymena are in top five of DIV 1B. Malone, City of Armagh and Queens University are in the top five of Division 2A with Malone topping the table one point ahead of City of Armagh. Dungannon and Rainey OB are again in top five of Div 2B with Belfast Harlequins still searching for their first league win and points. In Div 2C newly promoted Omagh are in 3rd place with Bangor in 7th place.
Points scorers for Ulster UBL teams were as follows:
Ballynahinch secured their first win defeating Old Wesley 27 – 6 at ‘Fortress’ Ballymacarn Park with tries from Jonny McPhillips, Conor Kelly, Richard Reaney and Aaron Cairns with McPhillips converting three and kicking one penalty.
Banbridge let slip a substantial lead at Rifle Park to draw 31 – 31 with Cork visitors UCC. Try scorers were Eric O’Sullivan, Peter Cromie, Andrew Morrison and Michael Lowry with Ian Porter converting four and kicking one penalty.
Ballymena lost a tight game against Dolphin 10 – 6 at Eaton Park with Brett Herron kicking two penalties.
Malone defeated Cork side Highfield 21 – 14 with winger Rory Campbell scoring all his teams 21 points from two tries, three penalties and one conversion.
Armagh won 26 – 10 at Galwegians with winger Andrew Willis (2) and Peter Starratt scoring their tries. Cormac Fox converted one and kicked three penalties.
Queens University came back from a 37 – 7 deficit to lose 37 – 31. Try scorers were Captain Nigel Simpson (2), Gerard Treanor and Andrew Clingan with Richie McMaster converting four and kicking one penalty.
Dungannon travelled to Cork and returned with a 19 – 10 win at Sunday’s Well. Try scorers were Paul Armstrong, Seamus Mallon with one penalty try. Chris Swash converted one.
In the All Ulster clash at Judges Road, home side City of Derry defeated Belfast visitors Belfast Harlequins 32 – 17. Try scorers for Derry were Tyler Rogers – Holden, Ross Harkin and David Graham with out half Neil Burns scoring two tries, converting one and kicking two penalties for personal a tally of 17 points. Belfast Harlequins try scorers were Ben Sloan, Christian Bennison and one penalty try.
Omagh drew 29 – 29 at home with Cork side Midleton. Try scorers were wingers Neil Brown and Ryan Mitchell two each, Captain Stewart McCain with out half Scott Elliott converting two.
Bangor lost 12 – 8 at Seapoint with out half Lewis Brett scoring a try and full back Nathan Graham converting a long range penalty.
Points scorers in Kukri Ulster Rugby championship
Ballyclare defeated Coleraine 21 – 16 at rugby Avenue. Coleraine scorers: Tries Stevie Callaghan, Mark Woods with Cameron Fulton kicking two penalties. Ballyclare scorers: Tries Rab Boyd, Grant Bartley with Robert Smith converting one and kicking three penalties.
Instonians won 51 – 5 at Mullaghmeen against Enniskillen. Instonians scorers: Rory McCurry two tries, Paddy Bell, Andrew Keane,Conor Gallagher, Sean Shuttleworth and Harry Cleland one try each. Out half Fraser Wright scored two tries and kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 16 points. Enniskillen scorer: Kaine Holden one try.
Carrick won 13 – 10 at Dromore. Carrick scorers; Conor Cambridge one try with out half Adam White converting one and kicking two penalties.
Cooke defeated Portadown 41 – 12 at Shawsbridge. Cooke scorers: Winger Andy Pollock four tries, Alex Gourley and Colm Cregan one each with Alan Gourley converting four and kicking one penalty. Portadown scorers: Gary Hall and Stuart Douglas one try each.
Larne defeated Ards 16 – 15 at the Glynn. Larne scorers: Matt Crampsy one try with out half Phil Andrews converting one and kicking three penalties.
Ards scorers : Tries Graeme Taylor, Ross Torney one try each with winger Trevor Devlin converting one and kicking one penalty.
Academy defeated Limavady 22 – 11 at Roughfort with Ben Cave and Andy Eggleton scoing tries. Max Oates scored one try and converted two along with kicking one penalty to contribute 12 points.
PSNI recorded their first win of the season when they defeated UUC 22 – 11.
Grosvenor remain top of Div 2 one point ahead of Ballymoney.
In Division Three: Lurgan and Strabane are level on points at the top with Donaghadee a further point behind in third place..
This weekend we have a full programme of games in the Ulster Bank All Ireland league with eight ties down for decision in round two of the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup. We have one Ulster derby in the UBL involving Belfast Harlequins against Rainey OB at Deramore Park.
In the Junior Cup we have two fascinating ties involving current Cup holders Ballynahinch seconds against Instonians at Ballymacarn Park and Ballyclare against unbeaten Armagh seconds at the Cloughan. Two games that are sure to attract large crowds. Ballyclare and Instonians are the top two teams in Divison 1 of the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship with Ballynahinch and Armagh seconds the top two teams in Division 1 of the Kukri Champ/Conference Div 1. There is also another tasty encounter at Gibson Park involving Malone seconds and Grosvenor.( As was put to me the ‘Landlords’ against the ‘tenants’). Both teams met at Gibson Park last Saturday in the Conference league with Malone winning 22 – 18.
There at two Division One meetings involving Clogher Valley against Coleraine at the Cran and Enniskillen against Carrick at Mullaghmeen. High scoring Cooke entertain a strong Banbridge seconds team at Shaws bridge. Will we see an upset at Chambers Park involving home side Portadown against a much improved Ards team. Finally we have a Division two contest between Limavady and Ballymoney at the Tom Hunter Playing Fields.