Phillips lands two tries as Ophir defeat Strabane

Rugby update
Rugby update

Ophir returned to Qualifying 3 action on Saturday with a 34-25 home win over Strabane.

Tries from prop Chris Phillips (two), Karl Davis, Stevie Hastings, James Milligan, and Johnny Murphy helped them to a hard-fought victory over the visitors.

Ophir hadn’t played since before Christmas but, with conditions ideal for open running rugby, the home side drew first blood when a crashing break from scrum-half Davis set up prop Phillips to drive over for the first score which went unconverted.

Strabane responded within five minutes to level matters before taking the lead on the half-hour mark with a converted try on the left wing.

Ophir hit back with Davis again making the crucial break and this time dropping over the line himself, ably supported by Milligan.

Shortly before half-time, Strabane landed a penalty to put them 15-10 ahead.

The home side were out of the blocks quickly in the second half, winning a scrum against the head on the Strabane 25-metre line. The ball was swept out to the left wing and Hastings dived through a tackle to score.

Strabane weren’t for rolling over and they restored their lead with another successful penalty.

But ten minutes after Phillips had landed second try of the afternoon, number eight Dave Lucas took a quick penalty on the half-way line and Davis made good ground with Milligan getting the final touch before adding the extras to his own try with a conversion.

With Ophir dominating possession, Murphy wriggled through the defence to score another converted try.

Strabane touched down a late, converted try, but Ophir had done enough to claim the win.