Bangor RFC Notes: Bangor maintains winning streak against Donaghadee

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With no 1sts or 3rds games, all eyes were focussed on the 2nds who were continuing their league campaign against local rivals Donaghadee. Having fallen behind early in the game, Bangor came through strongly to record an emphatic 50-15 victory.
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Things didn’t start well for Bangor. After just 5 minutes of play, the Dee set off down the left wing, before cutting back inside and leaving the Bangor defence in disarray. The resulting try under the posts was easily converted, putting the visitors ahead by 0-7.

If Bangor were surprised by this early set-back, they didn’t show it. From the restart, they pushed forward and started to harry the Dee back line. Within 5 minutes, they were rewarded with a penalty which De Plege kicked to touch. Bangor secured the ball from their lineout, and started to drive towards the Dee line. The Dee defence was unable to stop the Bangor pack, and eventually Stephen Gilliland crashed over to score in the left hand corner. The touchline conversion was missed, but the score was now 5-7.

Bangor continued to enjoy good possession, and came close after 15 minutes when Glen Irwin produced a strong run and was just held up short of the line. A further 5 minutes later saw Peter Corbett in a similar position, but although not as fast as Irwin he had size and strength on his side, allowing him to hold off the covering defence to score in the left hand corner. Once again, the difficult conversion was missed, but Bangor now had their noses in front by 10-7.

Just a few minutes later, the visitors were gifted a simple 3 points when Bangor strayed offside in front of their own posts. The successful penalty kick levelled the scores at 10-10. At this stage, the game looked like it could swing either direction. However, with 30 minutes gone, Bangor produced a couple of excellent strikes to start to take control.

Donaghadee were enjoying a good spell of possession and were deep inside Bangor’s twenty two. The ball was turned over by Bangor and was passed back to full back Jordan De Plege. The obvious choice would have been to kick for touch and relieve the pressure. However, he saw a gap in the advancing Donaghadee line and burst through. He continued his run into the Donaghadee half before off-loading to Ryan Meeke who charged from the twenty two to score. The conversion attempt was just wide, bringing the score to 15-10.

From the restart, Bangor won the ball and instead of bringing it into the centre of play, they flicked it wide to winger Neil Cuthbertson who left the Dee defence for dead and touched down under the posts. With the straightforward conversion added, Bangor were now 22-10 ahead.
This double blow stunned both the Dee players and supporters. However they continued to attack and lay siege to the Bangor line. The defence held up well, but within minutes of half time Bangor conceded a 5 metre scrum, from which the Dee gathered and scored. Although the conversion was missed, the game was wide open again at 22-15.

As the second half got underway, the rain started to come down and the wind picked up in strength. This seemed to affect both sides as they struggled to control the ball in the difficult playing conditions. For the first 20 minutes of this half, neither side was able to make any scoring chances. However, it was Bangor who eventually made the breakthrough when Ryan Law, heavily bandaged following a deep cut in his chin, nipped through to score under the posts from an attacking Bangor scrum, putting Bangor further ahead by 29-15.

As the heavy conditions continued, more gaps started to appear in the Donaghadee defence, and these were clinically exposed by the quick feet of Miller, Cuthbertson and Leebody who ran in three superb individual tries, bringing the score to 50-15 and putting the game safely beyond reach of the Dee, who were now suffering from player injuries.

Although there were several minutes of play remaining, the captains agreed to call it a day, and the referee blew for the end of the match.
Although there were some lapses in defence during the first half, coaches Gilliland and Brisbane were pleased with the result and the effort put in by their players. Ryan Meeke and Matt Baillie were singled out as the Men of the Match for their hard work throughout the game, topped off with Meeke’s excellent try.

Bangor scores: S Gilliland (1T), P Corbett (1T), R Meeke (1T), N Cuthbertson (2T), R Law (1T), D Miller (1T), M Leebody (1T), J De Plege (5C)

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