Larne 3rds fine win over Cooke
On Saturday 29th October, Larne 3rds travelled to Shaw’s Bridge to take on the challenge of Cooke 3rds.
Both teams started the game well with putting the ball through the phases and cancelling each other’s attack down with strong tackling from Bobby Warwick, David Harvey and Mark Irwin for the visitors. When Cooke changed their tactics to kicking for territory, Larne’s back 3 of Morgan Wharry, Alex McVeigh and Adam Maguire covered the pitch well to avoid conceding any points.
Cooke threatened the Larne line first but a last man tackle from veteran out-half Stephen Marshall, tackled the attacker at the 5m line before forcing a penalty to thwart the threat of an early home score. Larne’s hard defence continued and Cooke went down to 13 men through 2 injuries. This allowed space for veteran Marshall to pull the strings and gave space for Morgan Wharry to break through and go under the posts. Maguire adding the extra 2 points for a 0-7 lead.
With defence being one of the key aspects of Larne’s day, Cooke were able to break it down around the fringes with their forwards’ pick and go momentum to go over the line and level the score with the conversion.
Determined not to be outdone, Larne gained back the ball and straight on the attack with James McNee, Johnathan Murphy and Bradley Ogilby. Larne were rewarded with a score before half time through a Luke Burford score and Maguire’s conversion saw the visitors 7-14 up.
Larne upped their game in the second half after finding the confidence and the team clicking together and utilising the space on the pitch. A sweeping move from the back line saw space for Alex McVeigh to skate up the pitch before spreading back wide to Wharry for his second of the day.
Vincent McCorry was next on the scoreboard as he demonstrated his hard running and attacking skills running in for a fine score.
Marshall was soon running the defence ragged as he elusively went through the defence on a quickly tapped penalty.
Larne capitalized the performance with the score of the day, as Cooke threatened the Larne line again, a turnover on the 5 meter line saw Larne’s chance of clearing, but ran back at them through Marshall. The out-half pulling out all the tricks with a dummy and then sending a blind right hand pass to Wharry, picking up the ball superbly before beating the last defender and accelerating down the wing to complete his hat-trick in the corner. Marshall, taking over the conversion duties in the second half, keeping the 100% goal kicking in tact with a touchline goal. Final score Cooke 7 – 42 Larne.
From the side lines, a closely competitive first half was had by both teams enjoying social rugby before injuries plaguing Cooke’s efforts. Larne 3rds manager Stephen Johnston, was very impressed with the players representing the 3rds jersey, with pride and determination being shown from all 16 players.
Larne 3rds v Cooke: P. Ross, D. Harvey, L. Burford, K. Rea, J. McNee, V. McCorry, R. Williamson (c), B. Warwick, M. Irwin, S. Marshall, A. McVeigh, J. Murphy, B. Ogilby, M. Wharry, A. Maguire, J. Bergin.
Fixtures for Saturday 5th November:
Larne 2s v Ards
Larne 3s v Belfast High School Former Pupils
Both games 2.30pm KO