Kukri Qualifying 3: Letterkenny 10 Ophir 5

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Dave Gallagher Park was the venue for Letterkenny’s last league game of the season and while the stormy conditions may have contributed to some degree the general standard of rugby served up was not the best seen there this season. Short quite a number of players through either long or short term injury they welcomed back veteran winger Joe Kennedy on the right wing , with Brendan Smith in as hooker and John Anderson returning to number six.

Playing into the strong wind in the first period, the home side acquitted themselves well and in fact went ahead after six minutes with a Boyd Robinson penalty. Letterkenny did well in the scrums and did reasonably okay in the lineout’s considering the conditions but a combination of sloppy handling and good Ophir defence kept the home side from adding to their total. Then a series of lengthy clearances from the visitors saw them back inside the home twenty two on the thirty sixth minutes where lack of concentration saw the big Ophir lock cross for a try.

The half time score of five points to three appeared to be manageable from a Letterkenny point of view but though they dominated possession for most of the half they had to wait until fifteen minutes into the period before they went ahead. Captain Adam Moore carried the ball into contact near the Ophir twenty two and passed inside where he found his open side flanker Liam Mc Glynn up in support. Mc Glynn drew the full back and then found winger Joe Kennedy perfectly positioned to dive over in the corner. Boyd Robinson’s conversion was of the highest quality and brought up a ten to five points lead. However further efforts at crossing the Ophir line came up short and a Robinson penalty missed to the left side of the posts. Letterkenny played the final ten minutes without the services of left wing Anthony Mc Bride who injured his leg.

Team: Rory Mc Gonagle, Brendan Smith, Ray Clarke , Sean Dunleavy, Conor Dunleavy, John Anderson, Liam Mc Glynn, Adam Moore ( Capt.), Damien Williamson, Boyd Robinson, John Anthony Mc Fadden, Jason Daly, Anthony Mc Bride, Joe Kennedy, Kyle Samson.

All focus now is on the remaining fixture of the season when Letterkenny travel to Ravenhill on Saturday 10th April at 3.00 pm to take on Grosvenor in the final of the Gordon West League Cup.

Coach Carl Quinn will have some anxious moments as he waits for some of his ‘ walking wounded’ to resume training but he has developed a useful squad over the season and he knows that whoever takes the field will do their utmost to try and achieve success.

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