Ophir Firsts defated Civil Service 18-0 in Kukri Qualifying Four on Saturday.
The Mallusk men, who had scored over 140 points going into this game, dominated the scrum and line-out in the opening exchanges.
An early penalty from full-back David Walker was wide of the mark, but he made up for it five minutes later when a similar effort found its way between the sticks.
Then came a set-back for Ophir. In Service’s first foray into the opposition half, Ophir’s prop was injured and there followed a 25-minute delay as he received the necessary assistance.
Having taken control of the set-pieces of play, the ensuing uncontested scrums worked against Ophir, compounded by the loss of a player. However, they stuck to their task and still managed to retain the initiative.
From a short penalty kicked to touch, Ophir won the line-out and drove the Civil Service pack to the line for scrum-half Karl Davis to touch down for an unconverted score.
They came close to adding to their score on the stroke of half time when David O’Reilly was narrowly beaten to the ball from a chip ahead.
From the restart Civil Service began to make good ground; on the Ophir 22 they swept play to the left wing and only a last-ditch tackle put the ball into touch and allowed Ophir to clear their lines.
Playing against 14 men, it seemed likely that Service would spray the ball wide as often as possible, but instead they continually switched to the inside allowing the capable Ophir defence to smother the attacks.
Following a bout of aimless kicking from both sides, Ophir got to the Service 22 and Walker converted a penalty for offside.
Leading 11 – 0, there was no room for complacency as Civil Service battled to break down the defence. But, Ophir held firm and, in the dying seconds, added another converted try to take the final score to Civil Service 0, Ophir 18.
This Saturday (October 19), Ophir are away to Belfast High School FP.