Lisburn v Dungannon 2s Junior Cup
Lisburn miss out in Junior Cup
Lisburn 18 – Dungannon 2s 30
The Corus sponsored Lisburn first XV lost out to Dungannon 2s in the first round of the Junior Cup at Blaris last Saturday in a match that will be remembered by the home team as the one that got away. With just three minutes remaining on the clock, Lisburn were leading 18 – 15 and seemingly easing themselves towards a well deserved win. For the previous 32 minutes of the second period they had spent most of it on the attack in Dungannon territory but drama was just about to unfold. Lisburn Number 8, Andy Hamilton, had just gone off with a nasty wrist injury when the dangerous Dungannon back line suddenly gained possession and escaped from the stranglehold in which they had been held for long periods. In a race for the corner flag the big Dungannon wing appeared to have put his foot in touch but this went unseen by the touch judge and suddenly, from nowhere, Dungannon were in front by the narrow margin of two points. With just three minutes remaining, Lisburn inevitably started to chase the game and as is common in these circumstances, further errors were compounded as the speedy Dungannon back line broke out again to score two unconverted tries in injury time. The final score of 18 – 30 did not do justice to a home team performance that had all the excitement of a typical cup tie. The match had started with a simple Ryan Hill penalty for Lisburn but this was cancelled out by a seven pointer from Dungannon as they broke infield following a poor Lisburn drop out on 25 minutes.
Five minutes later Lisburn gifted the visitors another five points when a loose tap down from a line out on their own line left the Dungannon pack with the simple task of just having to fall on the ball. This setback spurred on the home team and just before the half time whistle they were rewarded when outhalf Ally Finlay feinted to make a sharp break and put winger Simon Gardiner through for his first try for the club. After the interval Dungannon increased their lead to 8-15 with a further penalty but this deficit was soon reduced when the Finlay/Gardiner partnership worked their magic again to bring the score to 13-15. Lisburn then took the lead for the first time following a fine try from charging skipper Chris Kidd who was playing a proverbial blinder along with his backrow colleagues Andy Hamilton and AlanHughes. The remainder of the game saw Lisburn attacking at every opportunity and their strong running back line also kept their dangerous Dungannon counterparts in check until those last final minutes. The Lisburn coach, Bruce Cornelius, will be happy with the much improved performance of his team, if not with the result. They will work on the areas that need fixing, particularly those arising from unforced errors at line out and restart time. Next Saturday Lisburn travel to Belfast High School FP for what will be seen as a must win game by both teams.