Stop! Hammer time for Ophir in win over Service

Ophir's Neil 'Hammer' Gray.

Ophir's Neil 'Hammer' Gray.

Ophir first XV consolidated their position in Kukri Qualifying 3 with a bonus point 33-11 win over Civil Service.

Number eight Neil ‘Hammer’ Gray was the star of the show, landing a hat-trick of tries in the victory at Magowan Park.

The hosts got the ball rolling when hooker John-Joe Flood met openside Jonny Murphy with his line out to set up a driving maul. The ball was transferred to veteran Gray who lent his bulk to the maul and dotted down in the corner. James Milligan added the extras with a sideline conversion.

Later, from a five-metre scrum, Ophir set about pushing the Service pack over their own line, resulting in Gray grabbing his second try of the afternoon. Milligan was again on hand to kick the coversion.

Service responded with a penalty but Ophir skipper Karl Davis got in on the scoring act by getting involved in a maul and then breaking off to land a try.

A carbon copy try occurred 10 minutes later, resulting in Davis getting his second of the match. Milligan converted both and Service kicked another penalty to leave the score 28-6 at half time.

The second half was largely uneventful, but it did provide one highlight when Gray completed his day with another maul-based try to pick up his hat-trick. The conversion was missed.

Late on in the game, due to repeated infringements on their own line Ophir gave away a penalty try but the conversion was missed.