Dee IIs win first outing by Jim Lyttle
Excellent start for Kyle Morrow, John West and Phillip Ellis
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Donaghadee 2nd XV opened their league campaign against Ballymoney 3rd XV at a sunny Donaldson Park on Saturday afternoon. From the outset the Dee took command of the game up front with Adam Torrans and Phil Collins dominant in the scrums, Morgan Ellis hitting his men with pinpoint accuracy in the lineout and the back row out-foraging the opposition whilst half-backs Mark Cooper and Paul Blewitt constantly threatened the Toon defensive line. Before long the pressure began to tell and skipper Kyle Morrow opened the scoring with a well taken try after a mauled lineout close to the opposition line. With full back Thomas Slane and wing Andy McGrugan also causing havoc with their thrusting runs from deep another three tries followed from barnstorming flanker James Cheshire and No. 8 Richard Martindale (2) to leave the 2nds with a 28-0 lead at the break. Early in the second half the never say die attitude of the Ballymoney men was to the fore when they scored a converted try under the Dee posts. At this point the large onlooking support were fearful of a Ballymoney revival as the Dee quickly went down to thirteen men as first Gareth Martin, who had causing problems in the opposition defence with his direct style of running, and then James Cheshire were consigned to the sin bin. Those thoughts were soon dismissed however as the Dee scored two tries through Matthew Blair after some barnstorming work from flanker Stephen Adams and centre Andrew Mitchell who firstly cut a lovely line and followed it up with a mesmerising dummy to score the try of the day under the posts. Towards the end of the game Cooper kicked a penalty and then converted a Martindale hat-trick try to bring his personal tally to fifteen points for the afternoon leaving the final score 50-7 in favour of the Dee men. A promising first outing then for Coach John West and Manager Phillip Ellis who will now want to build on this solid start in the hope of challenging for league honours this season. As with everything, however, success will not come on a plate so the encouraging numbers heretofore at training this season will need to continue if the side are to improve and progress.