Lurgan Rugby 8 v Dromore Rugby 55
PICTURE: Lurgan scrum half Chris Jenks makes a break against Dromore on Saturday & Dromore number 8 Michael Harshaw is tackled by Lurgans Craig Harrison and Aaron Robinson
Last Saturday saw Lurgan exit the 2011 Powerade Towns’ Cup following a heavy nine try home defeat to local rivals Dromore, Writes Paddy Allen.
The game was all but over after the first 20 minutes as the visitors ran in four tries as their backs ran riot with the impressive centre and man of the match Chris Leathem causing problems all afternoon for Lurgan as he also bagged a hat trick of tries.
Lurgan’s only try of the match came in the 21st minute from a missed clearance to touch by Dromore which was fielded by second row John Catney he found scrum half Chris Jenks on the blindside and Jenks sniped over in the corner.
Two more Dromore tries followed before the break as Lurgan’s defence was found wanting with several missed tackles and failure to post up at ruck time made it rather easy for the visitors to gain front foot ball.
Stephen Nolan banged over a 40 meter penalty for Lurgan on the stroke of half time to leave it 38 – 8 at the break.
A further three tries followed for Dromore in the early stages of the second half and for the remaining 25 minutes it was mostly Lurgan who held onto possession and put pressure on the Dromore line but their defence proved to strong.
In the end Lurgan were well beaten by a side which are two leagues above them but they will know that they are not 47 points worse than the qualifying one outfit.
Any possession Lurgan had in the first half was kicked away instead of the side believing in themselves and holding onto the ball and building up phases and some pressure. This resulted in the home side having to do plenty of defending.
Three of Dromore’s nine tries came from interceptions deep in their own half and they also scored a fortunate try from some loose play at a line out.
There are some positives that Lurgan can take from the game. The scrum stood up rather well pushing the visitors off several balls and had it not been for the referees lack of knowledge at scrum time and the off side rule the score line may have been more respectable.
The closing 25 minutes showed what Lurgan are capable of doing when they keep the ball in hand and build pressure through phases of play and hopefully when they entertain Civil Service this Saturday they will find that clinical edge of finishing moves off.
Two bit of bad news from Saturday on the injury front saw prop Andrew Mackey leave the pitch after 17 minutes with a torn hamstring and he will now face some time on the side lines and scrum half Chris Jenks also left the pitch with ankle damage in the 63rd minute although no news was available on the state of his injury.
Hopefully both players will make a speedy recovery and return to the side as soon as possible.
Lurgan: R Clarke, C Wamsley, C Harrison, S Gardiner, J Kingham; S Nolan, C Jenks; G Currie (C), G Wickie, A Mackey (D Whittaker 17), J Catney, C Mallon, A Robinson (M Campbell 55), J Pedlow, K McBride.