Donegal U17 (27) v Omagh U17 (12)
This was the cup match following the end of the league campaign for the Omagh U17 side
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This was the cup match following the end of the league campaign for the Omagh U17 side and the absence of several players was obvious when Omagh suffered a 27-12, despite a sterling effort from the 13 players who fielded. It turned out to be the preverbial ‘game of two halves’ with a strong breeze having a big part to play in the outcome.
Omagh kicked off and Donegal were fastest out of the blocks as some of their very big forwards made inroads into the Omagh 22. The tackling was a little too high and Omagh fell back into the habit of playing as individuals. Only some last ditch tackles by flankers Tom McNulty and freddie mcdowell kept Donegal out. Omagh despite a good squad were fielding a line-up with many players in different positions to the last game. After several rucks and an Omagh clearance kick – the Donegal full back showed his Gaelic football skills to field the ball and set up a drive from which Donegal scored to leave it 7-0.
With the strong breeze at their backs Donegal camped in the Omagh half and despite great defence by Lloyd Kane, Josh Ellis and stewart craig in the backs, it was difficult to clear the Omagh lines and eventually the pressure told as Donegal scored several more tries to make the half time score 27-0. Despite the scoreline Omagh had played some good rugby and gareth murphy McNulty, Ross Hawkes and Jordan Hetherington showed the benefits of the scrummaging session from the last training night.
After a quick pep talk it was agreed Omagh would use the wind to kick down into the Donegal half and play the rugby there – Lloyd Kane, Eoin Murnaghan and Dylan Flanagan used the wind to good effect and Omagh spent the majority of the half camped in the Donegal half. Some god forward drives released the back and Joshua Ellis made several barnstorming runs before just being held up short. Donegal were getting desperate in defence and conceded several penalties from which McNulty managed to squeeze over for a try which was converted. Omagh were now playing all the rugby and Ryan Stewart mad several breaks showing his electric pace – one interception was judged to be a knock on otherwise he was in for a try. From an attacking scrum McNulty picked up and fed Kane who showed his skills with a fine cut out pass for Ryan Stewart to speed over in the corner to make it 27-12. Omagh were now dominant but also showed their defence had improved with some great tackling.
The game ended with Omagh in the Donegal half still pushing forward – if only they had come out of the blocks quicker there could have been a different result. All in all an enjoyable day at the seaside.
Jordan Hetherington, Gary Hunter, gareth murphy, James Short, Ross Hawkes, freddie mcdowell, Tom McNulty, Eoin Murnaghan, Dylan Flanagan, stewart craig, Joshua Ellis, Ryan Stewart, Lloyd Kane