2nd XV

2012 - 2013

Early defeats at the hands of Wallace High School, Down High and Dalriada made life tough from the very start but confidence was taken from the fact that the defeats were mainly attributed to a lack of size in the forwards rather than skill levels. The tenacious tackling and rear guard defence was something that would stand us in good stead as the year progressed. We got our first win on the board against Royal School Dungannon, a comprehensive 37-0 victory and a fine display of running rugby. Great team tries were scored by Thomas Grieves and Andrew Johnston, however, concussion injuries sustained by Karl McLean and Jamie Byers dampened the winning feeling.  

A potentially difficult fixture against a strong Campbell College 2nd XV was next and with the scoreline poised at 0-0 at the end of the first half there was cause for optimism that this was going to be our day to get revenge for the numerous defeats over recent years by our near neighbours. Despite the determined effort, a few lapses in defence, cost us dearly and a four try blitz mid way through the second half was our undoing. Heads were held high and again confidence was gained by the resilience shown and a will to win was evident for those that watched from the sidelines.

Although we lost again on our travels to Royal School Armagh, we won convincingly and in great fashion against Larne Grammar, Carrick Grammar and Belfast High School. At Belfast High conditions were perfect for running rugby and it gave our backline, full of strong ball carriers the chance to shine. 

Unfortunately this was followed by our most disappointing result of the season on a wet, miserable morning in Magherafelt against Rainey Endowed and this was a bitter pill to swallow. An inability and it times, it could even have been construed as a refusal to take guilt edge opportunities, was to cost us dear in a 10-3 defeat. There was no doubt that for what we had in defence we lacked in composure and skill at the vital moments. 

Our cup run saw us on our travels again to Royal School Dungannon and despite a monumental penalty count against us, ferocious last minute defence led by the captain, allowed us to hold on at the death for a 17-13 victory. The boys deservedly took a pat on the back for their efforts especially after their dedication to training in the weeks leading up to the cup. The draw for the second round was not as kind as we succumbed to Royal School Armagh at home. Although the game, not for the first time, was poised evenly at half time thanks to a Gareth Thompson break away try, our lack of discipline was to cost us dear and Armagh romped to victory midway through the second half. It was perhaps fitting that one of the rugby clubs stalwarts, Thomas Grieves in what turned out to be his last game for school, surged his way over the opposition line for the final act.

 

The team throughout the season suffered most from the constant positional changes that often happens in the 2nd XV. Call ups to the 1st XV and injuries allowed other players opportunities and hopefully this will augur well for next season. It is always a shame to say goodbye to our leavers but Iain Watson, Thomas Grieves, Jamie Byers, Scott Adams, Matthew Robinson, James McCaughey and Dale Stinson were all dedicated to the cause and hopefully have many fond memories of their days in the Grosvenor shirt. For the rest of the squad it is back to the drawing board, new goals will be set for 2013/14 and with renewed commitment and ambition it will hopefully be a successful season.

 

Mr A White