LIMAVADY 1st XV put a frustrating league campaign behind them by destroying Kukri Qualifying League 3 champions Larne at the home of Ulster Rugby on Saturday.
In doing so, they brought the Gordon West Cup back to the Roe Valley, the First XV’s first ever trophy. The Roesiders have reached two cup finals before, previously losing out in both the Junior and Towns’ Cup.
Their subs had no impact. Our subs had a massive impact. Our pack had too much and our backs fired perfectly. Both our half backs – Jamie Millar and Luke Faulkner - are 19-year-olds, but you would have thought they play at Ravenhill every week.Limavady coach Paul O’Kane
Yet Saturday’s 46-8 score line didn’t flatter the home town heroes, according to head coach Paul O’Kane.
“We were flawless today,” he said. “But to be honest, it didn’t surprise me at all. The Larne coach told me after the final whistle that they knew we carried that threat all season.
“Things that didn’t stick against them in the league this year stuck perfectly at the Kingspan Stadium. I wondered if the occasion would overawe a few of our younger guys, but it did the opposite. Sport is usually dictated by fine lines. This result showed what we are capable of. Larne had no answer to a very structured game plan.
“Their subs had no impact. Our subs had a massive impact. Our pack had too much and our backs fired perfectly. Both our half backs – Jamie Millar and Luke Faulkner - are 19-year-olds, but you would have thought they play at Ravenhill every week. I have no doubt teams will be talking to both of them this summer, but we’ll be doing our best to keep them and build this squad into something special next year.
“The balance across the back-line on Saturday was fantastic. Chris Hunter, with his outside line running, fitted in well at 13 and Peter Wilson dominated the huge spaces on a big field.”
Looking ahead, the Limavady coach has already set some clear goals for next season as he seeks to build on the cup win.
“We are losing a couple of our experienced players, which is always hard to replace, but we have a few cracking players coming on board,” he said.
“Next year’s side will be even younger, but the confidence they will have gained from this experience is invaluable.
“The number one goal for next season is promotion. We need to get into a very competitive Kukri Qualifying League 2 and look to make an impact there. Our pack would be comfortable in League 1 and the backs are a work in progress. “We’ll enjoy our end of season trip to England next weekend and the next few weeks off. After that, we’ll be making clear plans for a full on assault on the league next season.”