Sports

League leaders too strong for Valley

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

League leaders too strong for Valley thumbnailPhilip Hooper looks for a gap in the Instonian defence.

WITH seven players either unavailable or injured, Clogher knew they had a difficult task against league leaders Instonians on Saturday.

Clogher Valley...19
Instonians...30

As it turned out it was a cracking encounter but one that the Valley emerged from with no points and with Carrick, Cooke and Dromore all picking up points, the battle to avoid ninth place is still in the balance.

Inst opened up this encounter in a high intensity manner although Clogher had an early chance which was squandered.

As the game evolved, a fascinating battle of the No 8s developed.

Maggiolo for Inst and Wilson of Clogher were like two great stags fighting for the rights to the herd.

Inst drew first blood with Keane crossing for a good score which was no more than the visitors deserved at this stage; it was goaled, game on.

Inst would again enjoy a period of dominance and went ahead on the twenty five minute mark. They moved the ball with accuracy and pace first right then left managing to squeeze in at the corner for their second try which went unconverted. The Valley as with the first try struck back almost immediately. A Trotter penalty gave his side a strong field position. The lineout maul routine worked again this time centre Triener was to touch down for the score.

Clogher were to gift the visitors their third try in the closing minutes of the half.

A lineout malfunction gave Inst the opportunity to crash over for a seven pointer and a seven point lead at the break.

The second period opened in dramatic fashion. Inst spilled the ball in a promising position and Triener hacked it through, Wilson showed deft footballing skills dribbling it forward and as Triener was about to touch down he was taken out by the only Inst player close to the action.

Inst were to regain the lead again on the fifty minute mark, a poor clearance kick and a case of over eagerness led to a simple front of posts penalty which was well executed.

As the game entered the last quarter Clogher lost prop forward Henderson to a yellow card and Inst responded by upping the ante.

The Clogher pack were too often asked to bludgeon their way up field and while normally successful it is an energy sapping way to obtain good position. Clogher were desperate to get the fourth try and a possible two points from the encounter but Inst are not league leaders by chance and contained all Valley efforts to add to their tally.

This Saturday, Clogher get a break from league action as it's Towns Cup week, with the visit of old friends Rainey to the Cran.

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