Last Saturday, Suttonians Senior Men’s Squad took on Ballyclare in their 1st of two pre-season fixtures, eventually going down 19-28 to Ulster’s Ballyclare. More important than the result, this was always an opportunity to blood new talent and to assess combinations and the depth of the squad.
On that basis, the result was very positive and bodes well for the season ahead. Overall, management were very pleased with the display on Saturday. “It went better than expected to be honest.” said head coach Andy Kenny. “There was clear evidence of the attack shape that we’d been working on during pre-season.” But it was the first half display that gave Kenny a sense of progress and promise. “It was an excellent first hit out. The defence was excellent in the first half. We tired and made things a little too easy for them in the second half, but when we were fresh, we gave them very little opportunity to impose themselves”.
Particularly encouraging for the Suttonians’ faithful was some individual performances and the return of Conor Stokes and Jack Ussher to the fray after periods away in Clontarf and France respectively was a welcome sight. Debutant Louis Gallagher and Conor Kelly, who enters his second season with Suttonians, proved a welcome addition to the squad and on a particularly difficult week for Niall Connolly, as well as his brother Gar, whose mother passed just last week , it was particularly pleasing to see Niall hit the whitewash for a memorable try.
Overall, this was a very positive performance against a Ballyclare team who begin their Ulster League campaign tomorrow. Next for Suttonians RFC Men’s Senior squad will be Dundalk RFC on September 10th.
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