Derry disappointing day for Dungannon

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

THE predicted rain came just before kick off as the home side welcomed back a number of former players for this rearranged AIL game at Judges Road.

City of Derry...16

Seamus Mallon made a welcome return for Dungannon.

There was little between the sides in the opening quarter although Dungannon were weakened by a suspected hamstring injury to Ross McCaughey. A Neil Burns penalty gave the home side an early lead.

After 25 minutes, good Dungannon pressure brought play up to the Derry line, forcing a penalty.

Opting for the scrum, the superior scrummaging from the visitors led to a penalty try. Jake Finlay converted to make it 3-7.

Following dissent by City of Derry, the visitors were awarded a penalty restart but failed to take advantage,as they did also with a Todd tap penalty shortly afterwards.

With the home side winning good line out ball, Dungannon were found guilty of bringing down their driving maul. A further penalty in front of the posts saw Burns make it 6-7.

As the second half wore on, the conditions worsened, with failing light and heavy rain making it difficult for all concerned, although both sides did try to move the ball.

Derry worked a fine midfield switch for Burns to easily score and convert, making it 13-7.

Shortly after the restart, a Derry player failed to roll away and Finlay had three easy points in front of the posts, bringing the score to 13-10. James Bates replaced Jack Ravey and the visitors went down to 14 men when a Dungannon forward was given a yellow card.

Former Dungannon player, Richard McCarter, along with scrum half Andrew Semple, controlled the game well for Derry gaining valuable territory.

From such pressure, Dungannon were rather harshly penalised for wheeling a scrum inside their 22 and Burns again had no problem in making it 16-10.

In the final 10 minutes both sides were repeatedly penalised with the City of Derry number 8 receiving a yellow card for persistent infringement.

Dungannon, who now lost Matthew Montgomery through injury, continued to press with Paul Armstrong and Glen Sinnamon coming close to scoring and were eventually rewarded with a try per David Leyburn following a driving maul.

Unfortunately, the conversion was missed to leave the final score 16-15 to City of Derry - their first AIL win mthis season.

Credit to both teams who tried to play rugby in very difficult conditions and no doubt Dungannon will look forward with confidence to the return fixture on 28 January.

Dungannon - J Finlay, P Cashel, P Armstrong, S Mallon, M Montgomery, J Buckley, J Ravey, G Sinnamon, J McNeill, R Bennett, S Todd, R McCaughey, D Leyburn, P Doran, J McMahon, A Clarke, M Calvert, G Treanor, A Mills.



Dungannon v Ballymena

Lurgan v Dungannon II (Towns Cup)

Dungannon III v Donaghadee II


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