This was another must win game for Dungannon, a win would mean that we still had our destiny in our own hands; a loss would mean that we could be caught by the chasing Ballymena and Bruff. And we wanted to win as we were playing another Ulster team. Playing against a very strong wind in the first half Dungannon had only themselves to blame for being seven points behind at halftime. Playing with the wind in the second half Dungannon had to suffer a couple of injustices from the officials that caused us field position and a played to the bin. However the players coped and came back well to win 16-11. The game opened with two penalties, one from Stuart McCloskey on three minutes and an equaliser from Michael Heaney after ten minutes. 3 – 3. The lively James Bates put Dungannon on the attack following a tap penalty. Quins cleared and attacked. The Dungannon defence somehow stopped Michael Kirkwood from scoring. Paul Magee and Stuart McCloskey then put Gannon on the offensive and the lively Paul Jackson kept popping up with the ball keeping Quins on the back foot. However a long clearance by Quins proved fruitful. The ball went into touch close to the Dungannon line and following a quickly taken throw in an over adventurous attempt to counter attack backfired and yielded a penalty to Quins. Quick thinking from Michael Heaney saw that Dungannon were not in position following the efforts to keep Quins out, he cross kicked the penalty and the ball was gathered by left wing Matthew Holmes who scored. Heaney converted. Dungannon will learn from this mistake. 10 – 3. Dungannon had a great thirty metre drive stopped two metres short of the Quins line. When this was stopped they were awarded a penalty outside the twenty-two. The attempt was wide and the half ended.
Quins started the second half brightly and a promising attach was stopped by a dual tackle from Magee and Cochrane. Quins kept on attacking but Gannon defended aggressively and it was from this pressure defence that Dungannon scored. A good tackle produced a sloppy pass by Quins, Stuart McCloskey swooped and gathered the ball. He broke through two defenders and although Chris Cochrane was in close proximity he was not in a position to receive a pass. Chris possibly distracted the defenders and when Stuart was two metres clear the defenders were never able to close the gap. He ran fully seventy-five metres to score. Maybe when he lined up the conversion he regretted not going around behind the posts. Although he struck the ball well it was just wide. 10 – 8. The restart was well secured by Dungannon and this set up the platform for another assault on the Quins line. Dungannon were held but a snap drop goal by Jaryd Bennett was successful putting Dungannon into the lead on forty-seven minutes. 10 – 11. Harlequins then took the imitative and pressurised the Dungannon defence but the defence held and the lines were cleared. Gannon now put the pressure on Quins and when an attack broke down near the Quins like the Host’s were awarded a scrum. A good Dungannon scrum and great harrying by James Bates led to a hurried cleared that Jaryd Bennett charged down collected and ran over for the try after sixty-five minutes. 10 – 16. The game then hotted up a little thanks to the input from the match officials. Dungannon were reduced to fourteen men on seventy-two minutes when Glen Telford was sent to the bin for retaliation following some foul play. This put Dungannon on the defensive and Harlequins put on the pressure. The fact that Dungannon were six points ahead may have influenced Harlequins when two penalties were offered; needing a try they went for a penalty lineout. Had they been eight points behind they may have taken a penalty and who knows what might have happened. With a couple of minutes left Richard Holmes was sent to the bin for slowing the progress of the game. Quins had a scrum on the five metre line. The Dungannon scrum held and when the scrum was respotted it held again. Eventually the whistle went and the Faithful were happy. A good performance from the boys and a deserved win. Other results went our way and Dungannon are safely in 1B next season. Well done the players, Paddy Johns and his coaching staff.
Team: Mark O’Shea. David Egner, Paul Magee, Stuart McCloskey, Chris Cochrane. Jaryd Bennett, James Bates. Glen Sinnamon, Paul Jackson, Mark Farquhar. Mark Jenkinson (capt), Michael Dunleavy. Jeremy Turkington, Ali Birch, Stuart McKenzie. Phil Whyte, Steven Sinnamon, Richard Holmes, Rowan Halsall, Glen Telford.
Grosvenor 17 – 37 Dungannon 2XV
13 Apr 2013 14:30
League MATCH REPORT
A Dungannon II XV containing eight under 20s played some good rugby as they overcame Grosvenor by five tries to three at Shaw’s Bridge. First blood went to Grosvenor with a try after five minutes. Dungannon took up the challenge and went into the lead as Plunkett drove over for a try. Jake Finlay converted. 5 – 7. Jake Finlay then increased the lead with a penalty before a Sean Conway sent Darren Simpson off for a dazzling score. 5 – 15. Grosvenor then drove through the pack and scored a converted try. 12 – 15. Jake Finlay kicked a penalty before he touched down for a try following a turnover by the pack. 12 – 23. The second half provided a try for Jonny Gordon who showed great strength to barge in from fifteen metres out. Jake converted. 12 – 30. Grosvenor then scored an unconverted try before we had a second try from Dazzler Simpson following good works by the backs. 17 – 37. A good performance and an enjoyable game. Unfortunately Dungannon lost the promising Peter Gilkinson in the second quater. He has a serious knee injury and we wish him a speedy recovery. Team:- Jake Finlay, Darren Simpson, Ben Kennedy, Sean Conway, Peter Cashel, Gareth McGonigle, David Spence, Zack Farrell, Daniel Maxwell, Jaryd Miller, Plunkett McCallan, Paul McCarroll, David Leyburn, Jonny Gordon, Peter Gilkinson.
Dungannon 4XV 52 – 17
Ballymena 4 13 Apr 2013
These two teams served up an entertaining game last December and did the same again today, with a different result this time. They also scored eleven tries between them. Dungannon took the lead on five minutes when apprentice forward Jonathan Toal raced away and beat the fullback for a good try the Jonathan Smith converted. 7 – 0. Ballymena retaliated instantly when following good work from their pack they scored a converted try under the posts. 7 – 7. Some good play from Dungannon got them into good positions but all too often basic errors cost them scores. However on fifteen minutes a decisive break from Andrew Girvan backed up by Jeremy Baird and Sean O’Hagan send Gordon Stewart over for his first ever try in his budding eight year career. Jonny Smith added the extras. 14 – 7. Ballymena came back into the game aided by some indiscipline from Gannon. Ballymena took full advantage when their speedy backs went over in the corner for an unconverted try. Some scrappy play ensued but the veteran Andrew Girvan, covering at fullback, sparked life into Dungannon when he made a break before offloading to Andrew Tate then debutant centre Craig McMullan popped a pass to Johnny Toal who beat two players on his way to score. Jonny Smith again converted. 21 – 12. When a Ballymena penalty didn’t make touch fullback Robert McLean made a break before passing to Jeremy Baird, Derek Martin carried on the move before the well balanced Lorcan McGrath dazzled his way over in at the corner just before halftime. 26 – 12. Rain greeted the players at the start of the second half. Play was scrappy. Then from a ruck on halfway Sean O’Hagan picked and surprised the opposition with his pace. Running through two tackles before being caught by the winger who was fortunately just too small to stop the big prop from powering over. Jonny Smith converted. 33 – 12. Dungannon now had a decent lead and pushed on with good lineout ball from young Gordon Stewart. A quick ball from Gordon to Corey Anderson allowed the Dungannon backs to create a nice move putting Jonathan Mills through, he offloaded to Jonny Toal who chipped through for Robert McLean to collect the ball and score another well worked try. 38 – 12. Philip McCammon then joined the fray and some strong running from him and Andrew Girvan set up a driving maul which was stopped just short. Tony O’Hagan then drove again with the now ecstatic Gordon Stewart carrying on the drive to score the second try of his career. Like busses. Mark Werpachowski converted. 45-12. More scrums and penalties followed for the next ten minutes as the weather deteriorated and started to spoil the game. However some good forward play again from Martin, Baird and Charlie Farrell created the opportunity for Tony O’Hagan to get a well deserved try in the corner. 52-12. With the game coming to a close, Ballymena threw caution to the wind and used their pacey backs to put together a final flurry with their fullback scoring from a well worked move. 52 – 17. Needless to say the Dungannon team coach Gareth McMullan was very pleased with his player’s performance and was especially happy for Man of the Match Gordon Stewart who broke his duck with two tries. The boys were also happy for Gruff who is taking leave of absence for the rest of this season for a special occasion at the end of the month. We wish Caroline and him many happy years.
Team: Robert McLean. Andrew Tate, Jonathan Smith, Craig McMullan, Jonathan Mills. Lorcan McGrath, Corey Anderson. Sean O’Hagan, Jeremy Baird (Capt), Charlie Farrell. Gordon Stuart, Tony O’Hagan. Derek Martin, Jonny Toal, Andrew Girvan. Subs: Philip McCammon, Mark Werpachowski, John O’Neill, Aidan Hanna.