Armagh 2 10 – 13 Dungannon 2XV
On a cold dry day at Palace Grounds Dungannon, showing eight changes from their last outing, put on a spirited performance to beat Armagh 13 – 10 in this local derby. Armagh took the lead after eight minutes with a converted try from number 8 David Martin. 7 – 0. Following some sustained pressure Dungannon hit back with a try from Charlie Sargaison. 7 – 5. Armagh increased their lead to five points with a penalty on seventeen minutes. 10 – 5. A great Ben Howard break took play from his own half into the Armagh twenty-two giving Dungannon good field position. On the stroke of half time Gannon were awarded a penalty which Gareth Graham converted closing the gap to two points. 10 – 8. Armagh lost the talented Andrew Winder for ten minutes following some misunderstanding. A timely turnover on his own twenty-two by Richard Holmes stopped a dangerous Armagh attack and allowed Dungannon to clear their lines. Five minutes later the ball beat Stuart Lester to the dead ball line. After seventy minutes a kick through by Steven Liggett found touch near the Armagh line. Richard Holmes won the lineout and when a driving maul was stopped Skipper Richard Wright sent the impressive Peter Cashel over in the corner to put Gannon into the lead for the first time. In the final few minutes Armagh pressed but the Dungannon defence held firm. It might not have been pretty but it was a deserved and memorable win that puts Dungannon into the Quarter Final of the Powerade Towns’ Cup.
Team: Peter Cashel. Jerome McClure, Steven Liggett, Mark Faloon, Jonny Toal. Gareth Graham, Richard Wright (Capt). Charlie Sargaison, Daniel Maxwell, Ben Howard. Richard Holmes, Declan Treanor. Simon Potter, Mark McFarland, Peter Gilkinson. . Referee: Peter McClure
Dublin University 24 – 16 Dungannon 1XV
Dungannon were unfortunate to lose Glen Telford during the warm up for this challenging encounter against Dublin University at Merrion Road. Stuart McCloskey moved to midfield to partner, Paul Magee with Mark O’Shea coming in at fullback. On the park Trinity did just enough to claim a 24-16 win but a couple of strange decisions denied Dungannon what would have been a well deserved losing bonus point. Amazingly, despite the presence of two good back lines on view, the forwards claimed all the tries. Dungannon started well with an excellent run from David Egner on the left wing before Trinity fluffed a penalty award in the third minute. The students settled thereafter and some good ball retention allowed Paddy Lavelle to test the Dungannon defence. For Dungannon, Stuart McCloskey fired wide with a penalty before Rowan Halsall won a turnover to keep Dungannon going forward. On eleven minutes David Joyce missed out with his second penalty attempt before both sets of backs missed chances due to handling errors. Stuart McCloskey then made good ground for Dungannon before Mark Jenkinson took a good lineout catch. Alas, a midfield pass was adjudged forward and yet another chance was foiled. Midway through the half good runs by Dave Fanagan took play close to the Dungannon line and following good work by the University pack, Jack Kelly charged over on the blindside with Joyce adding the extras. Dungannon bounced back and when Stuart McCloskey broke clear, David Egner just failed to hold the final pass. All the time the Dungannon front row was impressing before a yellow card for Paul Jackson caused difficulties especially when Trinity turned a Dungannon scrum and the students were awarded the put in. Following a reset the students moved the ball on the blind side but the referee decided to award a penalty try. Quite a change from the decision last week! Joyce added the extras to leave the students 14 points clear on forty minutes. Dungannon turned the screw in added time and following two infringements by the home side Stuart McCloskey struck from the tee and the half ended, 14-3.
One minute into the second half McCloskey kept Dungannon in touch with his second penalty but a good break from Fanagan put Trinity back on the front foot. Dungannon did win the lineout close to the line but a defensive mix up allowed Jack Kelly to pounce on the loose ball for a rather fortunate try. Again Joyce converted and the students led 21-6 on fifty minutes. It was time for Dungannon to hit back and some notable thrusts from Paul Magee and Mark O’Shea earned the visitors a penalty. The ball was drilled to the corner and when Stuart McKenzie took possession, Rowan Halsall popped the ball up for Mark Jenkinson to dive over in the corner after fifty-five minutes. At the other end three minutes later the University were held up on the drive. When a penalty was awarded Joyce’s attempt appeared to be a foot wide of the target and the Dungannon followers were shocked to see the Touch Judge raise his flag. At 24-11, Dungannon rallied in the final quarter and were duly rewarded for some good attacking play when Ali Birch broke clear to score on sixty-seven minutes. The conversion was missed and when Dungannon tried to hunt down a losing bonus point the students wisely focused on defence. The result left Dungannon still lying third from bottom but Dublin University are still in the chase for the league title lying nine points behind leaders, Ballynahinch.
Team: Mark O’Shea. Darren Simpson, Paul Magee, Stuart McCloskey, David Egner. Jaryd Bennett, Rowan Halsall. Glen Sinnamon, Paul Jackson, Mark Farquhar. Michael Dunleavy, Mark Jenkinson (Capt). Stuart McKenzie, Timothy Smith, Ali Birch. Phil Whyte, Seven Sinnamon, Jeremy Turkington, Sean Conway. Referee: David Connelly (IRFU)