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I made the trip to Shawsbridge on Saturday afternoon with a Ulster Rugby Championship double header on offer as Instonians entertained CIYMS and Cooke hosted Clogher Valley. 

With lighting still an issue at this time of year I decided to cover Instonians first and then take in the second half of the Cooke match under the floodlights. Given the scores it would probably have been more rewarding the other way round!

Instonians went into the game looking for a win to get their season back on track but, despite picking up only one win in the league this season, I’d been hearing good things about CIYMS’ play this season so I was interested to see how this one would pan out. 

Instonians Scott Mclean picked up an early penalty as their scrum laid down a marker but it was CIYMS who enjoyed the best of the opening quarter, keeping Inst pinned in their own half. Despite a couple of close calls out wide the visitors only had a penalty to tie the game 3 – all. 

CI enjoyed early pressure in the Instonians half.

Instonians cut loose in the second quarter with Mclean adding his second penalty before stepping up for two conversions as the Inst pack got on top. 

Their first try came from a powerful scrum with Andrew Hussell touching down at the base of the posts and minutes later Paul Pritchard finished off a driving maul to give Instonians a 20 – 3 lead at the break. 

Instonians pack took control in the second quarter.

Hussell and Pritchard scored again at the start of the second half with McClean converting one to stretch their lead to 32 – 3 which stretched to 37 – 3 when Hussell went over for his third. 

However a lack of disciple saw CI pull it back to 37 – 20 in a sort period of time with three tries of their own, one converted, and they had a sniff of a chance with Instonians down to fourteen for the bulk of the final quarter.

Instonians picked up a penalty before CI crossed for their fourth to take the score to 40 – 27  with five minutes left but it was Inst who had the final say with Adam McCarthy scoring with the final play of the game. 

Final score: Instonians 47 CIYMS 27

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