Match Report

Sunday’s Well 31 Bangor 27

The Curtain came down on the ‘Well Energia AIL and senior status effectively after the last weekend’s results. However; they finished with a  rousing encore and finale; in a thrilling match against a fired up Bangor side to secure a five-try victory and go out in style.

The players and mentors showed how much the club and fans meant, as they put everything into a game and looked to go out with style. There was a great mix of open running ruby as well as the notable strong line-out with captain Conor O’Brien leading from the front throughout. Cormac Kelliher; who was a big miss for half of the ‘Well’s season and replacement wing-forward Finn MacFhlannchadha scored crucial late tries after a brace by Ross Taylor got the ‘Well off to a strong start. Kelliher also kicked the crucial last conversion which put them beyond a penalty going into the closing stages as Bangor battled back.

The ‘Well once again used their organised powerful pack to get a foothold in the game. Some great pressure exerted early penalties and the immaculate line-out and mauls were causing Bangor’s defence immense problems. Conor O’Brien and Cormac Kelliher were gathering the immaculate throws of Jack McHenry whilst also causing disruption on the Bangor throw-ins.

The maul allowed the ‘Well to drive up the field and they appeared to have got their first try when Dan O’Brien surged over but the Bangor team managed to get players underneath the ball and hold it up. Bangor did have their moments with Alastair McIvor making some dangerous breaks got back on the offensive.

Another line-out close to the line saw the initial drive halted with Jack McHenry recycling the ball. The ‘Well organised a pick and go around the corner with Ross Taylor powering his way through the defense for the opening score of the game.

The ‘Well showed great metal in defence when they needed to with McIvor and winger Conor Scollan powering through. The ‘Well tackled hard with some excellent hits by Harry McHenry and Ruairi Geary in midfield while the excellent boot of Downey managed relieve some pressure.

Bangor made a half-break from deep that the ‘Well defence scuppered initial momentum. Great pressure at the ruck helped bring the ‘Well’s line forward and an attempted long pass was intercepted by Shane Keevers who made a goose step to avoid an initial trip and raced through under the posts.

Bangor did build up pressure and Andrew Smyth got in for a try that Rhys Larmour converted on the half-hour mark to make it a 12-7 game. The ‘Well responded by kicking deep and forcing Bangor to clear. A great drive from the line-out resulted in another penalty. Geary kicked to the corner, Conor O’Brien secured the ball and shifted it immediately to Cormac Kelliher. Again the initial drive was halted but again Ross Taylor was on hand to force his way over the line. Loughrey slotted through the extras to restore the ‘Well’s 12-point advantage.

The final-say of the half came for the men from Ulster when a great break by Patrick Dobie; saw his inside pass go loose and bounced up for Daniel Young; leaving the half-time score at 19-12.

With the wind into their faces in the second-half, the ‘Well couldn’t quite control the game as much. Bangor made a fiery start to the half but were held out by some resolute defence. Ten minutes in and the ‘Well were able to get some phases together. Eoin O’Sullivan and Andrew Mintern were making some inroads.

Bangor conceded a couple of penalties and with a couple of players also sin-binned; the ‘Well took a quick tap. In open-field Conor and Kelliher again combined with the field opening up for the flying flanker and CK racing away to touch-down in the corner.

The visitors immediately responded. A break from Robert Gamble led to a five metre scrum for Bangor from which they were awarded a penalty-try. This boosted the vibe for the visitors and another scrum off a penalty saw Larmour reduce the gap to two points; 24-22.

Bangor; hoping to avoid a relegation play-off continued the high tempo and eventually got in in the corner by Patrick Dobie with Larmour narrowly missing the conversion.

The ‘Well never gave up and a great kick through by McHenry almost saw the ‘Well though. Bangor attempted to run out from their own line but excellent rucking saw the ball turned over. A tap and go saw incessant pressure on the line and after several near misses, Finn MacFhlannchadha touched down for the crucial score with Cormac Kelliher converting.

Bangor didn’t relent and threw everything at the ‘Well in the final minutes but composed and determined defence eventually forced the mistake to see the ‘Well finished the AIL campaign for now with maximum points. 

Sunday’s Well 31 Bangor 27

Scorers: Sunday’s Well: C Kelliher try, con; R Taylor (2), S Keevers, F MacFhlannchadha tries; F Loughry 2 cons.

Bangor: A Smith, D Young, penalty try, P Dobie tries; R Larmour con, pen.

Sunday’s Well: G Downey; K Maye, E O’Sullivan, R Geary, S Keevers; H McHenry, F Loughrey; D Hourigan, J McHenry, M McCarthy; J Costello, R Taylor; C Kelliher, D O ‘Brien, C O ‘Brien (c). Replacements: J Downey, A Brown, A Mintern, F MacFhlannchadha, R O’Donoghue-Kelleher.

Bangor: R Larmour; C Young, A McIvor, M Widdowson, C Scollan; G Millar, A Lowry; O McIlmurray, T Boyd, J Leary; C Burton, J Thallon; D Horrox (c), A Smith, M Weir. Replacements: A Jackson, A Shaw, P Dobie, R Young, R Gamble.

Referee: S Kierans (IRFU)  

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