Sports

Accies ready for first AIL bow in two decades

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Accies ready for first AIL bow in two decades thumbnailOmagh Accies celebrate their promotion All-Ireland senior rugby ranks last season. They kick off their campaign away to Bruff on Saturday PA3794MD

OMAGH Accies will make the long trip to east Limerick this Saturday to face Bruff RFC in their first All Ireland League encounter in 20 years.
A relatively young club, The Munster club were founded in 1970 with their most notable player being ex-Ireland and Lions prop, John "The Bull" Hayes. The home side play at Kilballyowen Park and field 16 teams each week, with three adult male sides, ladies, underage and mini rugby set-ups.
“We are very excited about starting our AlL campaign next weekend," revealed Accies coach, Phil Marshall, ahead of Saturday's historic encounter. "It does not come much tougher than an away trip to Bruff but we are delighted to be here and look forward to the new challenges this competition will give us.
“Despite the two defeats in the Ulster League, we are going in to this game in positive spirits and with two successive home fixtures after Saturday back in Tyrone when we welcome Midelton, and then Bective Rangers, it is wetting the appetite of the players", he mused.
“Our injury list is long, but that's rugby. We are unfortunate to have lost Oscar Nelson for the season, but had better news with Lee Warnock's injury and expect him to play in a few weeks' time. Johnny Sproule, Yonga Taleni, Stephen MacLaine, James Rutledge are all out of the squad for Saturday, but Adam Pollock should be fit to play, and I hope to have Mervyn Edgar back in the squad," he added.
“Senior League rugby is proving to be a massive learning curve for us, we didn't expect anything different, but so far we have showed we can live with these sides but our real test is next week against Bruff.
“Character is very important and with hard physical battles expected we are going to have to deal with this, adversity and all the new challenges this league will throw at us. We will learn a lot about ourselves in the months ahead, but intend to give this league a real go," he added in optimistic tone.
Kick off on Saturday is at 2.30pm. The first AIL game in Omagh is against Midelton next Saturday, September 23.

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