Omagh RFC Notes: I XV 18 v Bangor RFC I XV 32 + U13s 34 v Enniskillen RFC U13s & U17 I XV 25 v Enniskillen RFC U17 I XV 10

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League Accies 1XV beaten by Bangor 1XV

A late intercept try and conversion from Bangor put a misleading scoreline on a match that was much closer in reality and ebbed and flowed throughout an entertaining second period. That the first was turgid mattered little, though the home side will be frustrated that they did not claim a losing bonus point at least.
Bangor’s experience and in particular, girth up front, told in the end with their rolling maul working well. Their scrum put Omagh under pressure all day, though the home side showed enough fight and tenacity in the second period to suggests they have many better days ahead.
The visitors opened the scoring early on playing uphill on a cold day in Co. Tyrone. They set their rolling maul early on and it yielded a try which was converted to open the scoring at 7-0. The home side appeared lethargic in the first half, committing too many attackers to the breakdown, not sucking enough defenders in and generally appearing to give their opponents too much respect. Three changes from the regular front row triosaw John Loughlin at hooker flanked by Steven Lyons at tight head and Stephen Giboney, who stepped in late on and moved over one from his accustomed hooker berth, at loose head. The trio battled well and never game up throughout but gave up a lot of size and experience in the trenches.
Omagh managed to muster some offense by the midpoint of the half by putting a fee phases together. Johnny Sproule took lineout 10 metres out and the pack converged round him. They moves it infield before releasing the backs. With the Bangor defence up quick , Lee Warnock cut back inside, set the ball up , showed patience and worked an overlap on the right with Stephen Giboney diving over for a well created score . The conversion was missed.
Bangor replied with a penalty after they had turned the Omagh scrum round to extend the lead to 10-5 and began to dominate. The halfbacks had loads of time to dictate and when Omagh came up flat they kicked intelligently in behind, forced the home side to turn and clear. From one lineout close to the home line, Bangor’s forwards drove very close and as they appealed for a score, it was given by a blindsided referee. and despite home protests that the scorer was short of the line, the try was awarded. The conversion was missed to leave the score 15-5.
A big tackle by centre Alan Heaney halted another attach just before the break, while the physicality and work rate of flanker, Andrew Ferguson stood out as he impressed the appreciative crowd. Half time 15-5.
A stern half time talk by coach, phil marshall galvanised his side, but not immediately as Bangor won the opening kickoff, an area in which Omagh struggled all day, and moved down the pitch sucking in defenders before their winger showed good pace to crash over in the corner. The conversion was missed. Score 20-5.
Omagh first touched the ball in the second period when they kicked off and some heads may have went down but they fired back immediately with a fine score. The ball was secured by the pack and moved put wide. David Ward straightened in a classic fullback line entry before feeding Andy McFarland. Cracking interplay and offloading between the two allowed the supporting Loughlin to take a nicely weighted inside pass and show the defence a clean pair of heels to bring the Accies back into the match. The conversion was missed.
With their tails up, the home side upped their game and the tempo and began to believe in themselves and ask questions of the Upritchard Park men’s defence, and after some pressure which followed a bullocking run by captain, Mervyn Edgar, Bangor were pinged for hands in the ruck and ward slotted over the resulting penalty to leave the game 20-13.
The scrum continued to struggle, though the Accies back row fought like terriers at the breakdown, and No. 8 Richard Smyth must be commended for managing poor situations at the back of the scrum so well. The pack started to counter ruck and refusing to be bullied. They turned the ball straight over from one such scrum, and Ward was narrowly wide with an instinctive drop goal from 30 metres.
A couple of kicks to the corned didn’t get the rub of the green , going dead and relieving pressure on the Co. Down men who began to look less organised and decisive. The outhalf, with so much time in the first half, began to see green shirts in front of him and was made to look ordinary.
The forward pressure from the visitors told in the end though as they were able to play the line from successive penalties and use the tried and trusted method of the catch and drive to power over, much to the relief of their noisy supporters. The conversion was missed.
Omagh fought back and again threw out all the stops in an effort to get back in the game but were picked off with a loopy pass intercepted by the Bangor centre who had enough gas to dive over under the posts. The try was converted to leave the score 32-13.
Straight from the kickoff, Heaney put in another big hit to halt the Bangor attack. They regrouped, and moved the ball down the blindside, and appeared to halt their drive. Bangor booked for the ball only to see Accies scrum half, Stuart McCain sprinting away down the sideline capitalising on a turnover to register a sniping individual try. The conversion was missed.
Despite their endeavours late on, Omagh could not conjure up another score and the match ended 32-18 in favour o the Seasiders. It was a second half that promised much and showed the fighting spirit of the Accies, something that will be called upon as they enter a tricky pre-Christmas fixture programme.
Ferguson showed up well for Omagh all afternoon, putting his body on the line and leading from the front. You could not have faulted the effort from Omagh, but naivety and slowness to adapt to situations on the pitch hurt them at times, though they were always under pressure by a much larger and experienced pack.
Omagh next face Randalstown at home on Saturday. Marshall will hope to have some of his walking wounded available for this important fixture ahead of a derby day cracker against Enniskillen the following week.
Team: David Ward, Matthew Eccles, Yonga Taleni, Alan Heaney, Andy McFarland, Lee Warnock, Stuart McCain, Stephen Giboney, John Loughlin, Johnny Spoule, Jonny Giboney, Mervyn Edgar(C), Andrew Ferguson, Richard Smyth
The Accies will be having a Disco in the main pavilion on Saturday night. There will be food available after the matches and the club will be showing the Ulster v Northampton Heineken Cup match at 6pm. Everyone welcome.

Enniskillen 29 vs 34 Omagh League
Omagh U13’s got back to winning ways on Saturday away to neighbours Enniskillen

By Kevin Murnaghan | Sunday 9th December 2012
Although the Accies started the brighter it was Enniskillen that scored first when their left winger rounded the Omagh defence and ran in from 40 yards.

This was a bit of a shock to the system but the Omagh boys responded in the right way and it was not long before Brian Furey showed his usual strength and pace to crash over for a try. Matthew Murnaghan added the conversion to bring the sides level.

Enniskillen scored twice more in quick succession both against the run of play. The young Accies did not let their heads go down. Bailey Irvine attacked down the left and got support from Jamie McElroy and Adam Giles. Simon Creane and Brian Furey carried the move on before the ball was moved wide for Michael Marechaux to dive over. The conversion attempt unluckily came back off the post.

Next to score was Aimhirgin Duffy. Simon Creane and Philip Rainey were proving a real nuisance at the breakdown and having stolen Enniskillen ball they took it on before feeding Aimhirgin Duffy who beat three players and, though tackled, was able to stretch over his head and reach the line. Whilst the score was disputed by some of the Enniskillen players the TMO would have confirmed the score had he been there. Incredibly the conversion attempt came back off the same post.

The half time score was 19 : 17 in favour of Enniskillen. Omagh should have held the lead as Joseph Mc Garvey failed to score when he unfortunately stepped over the dead ball line when finishing off a sweeping move involving Aimhirgin Duffy and Daniel Monaghan.

The Accies were slow out of the blocks at the start of the second half and within minutes Enniskillen extended their lead with another try that owed more to poor tackling than anything else.

The Omagh boys were quick to respond with the forwards driving forward with Brian Furey, Dylan Walsh and especially Adam Giles direct and dynamic style bringing play deep into the Enniskillen half. The ball was moved wide and Michael Marechaux popped up to dive over for his second try.

Having narrowed the gap, Omagh relaxed and in spite of excellent tackles from Neil Hemphill, Aimhirgin Duffy, Cu Mhara Duffy and Joseph Mc Garvey, Enniskillen scored again. At this point the Enniskillen boys were 7 points ahead and may have been guilty of believing the game had been won. But this Omagh side never gives up.

Enniskillen regained possession from the kick off and kicked deep. Big mistake! Cu Mhara Duffy took the opportunity to counter attack with pace and after beating several players linked with his forwards. The ball was recycled before Adam Giles burst through and got the score his performance deserved when he dived under the posts. Matthew Murnaghan miscued the conversion that would have brought the scores level but he made amends soon after.

The winning score was the try of the match. It started inside the Omagh 22 of turnover ball. Dylan Walsh ran direct
and offloaded to Philip Rainey. Philip took it on before feeding Matthew Murnaghan. Matthew injected pace before passing inside to the supporting Michael Marechaux. Michael drew the last defender before passing back to Matthew who raced in under the posts. The score would not have happened if the boys hadn’t carried the ball in both hands and preserved the space for the supporting players. Happy coaches!!!

This time Matthew made no mistake with the conversion and although there was still time for Enniskillen to come back the Omagh defence held out to secure a fine victory

Omagh U17s win at Enniskillen
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On a crisp but dry morning Omagh U17 travelled to Enniskillen in the return league fixture – Omagh having beaten Enniskillen twice already this season
Enniskillen U17 (10) v Omagh U17 (25) December 08, 2012

On a crisp but dry morning Omagh U17 travelled to Enniskillen in the return league fixture – Omagh having beaten Enniskillen twice already this season were in confident mood and produced one of their best performances this season to comfortably win an entertaining match at Mullaghmeen on Saturday.

The pitch surface was in surprisingly good shape considering recent rain, and conditions were ideal for running rugby, especially since Omagh had Packie O’Neill back at out-half – his all round skills, especially kicking from hand, ensured Omagh played their rugby in the right areas of the pitch.

Enniskillen kicked off and Omagh were quickly into their stride as Mark Hopton-Brown and Johnny McFarland made good breaks – supporting each other well and recycling good ball for Murnaghan at scrum half. The partnership of O’Neill and inside centre Matthew Sweeney meant Omagh were realligned properly in defence and attack, and soon moved the ball down the line for Alastair McFarland and Trent Brown to make good ground up the right wing. From the ruck, Johnny McFarland made a 30-40 metre break and Brown showed good awareness to arrive late and pick and drive over from short range – a good team try with backs and forwards combining to create the try. The conversion was narrowly missed by O’Neill.

Enniskillen came back with their dangerous left wing causing some problems. Unfortunately Omagh’s tendency to lose concentration meant they lined up poorly in defence – they must focus on their opposite number and Enniskillen almost scored due to the overlap left by the defence – only a saving tackle from Jamie Walsh stopped a try in the corner – Walsh was to go on to have a strong game both in defence and attack. From the ensuing lineout ‘skins’ won a penalty 5 metres out and decided to tap and charge the line – Eoin Murnaghan made a last ditch tackle to save a certain try – he too was to have one of his best games in the Omagh shirt.

The ball was cleared to half way with good relieving kicks from O’Neill and Murnaghan. From the lineout Omagh turned over ball as Freddie McDowell showed his usual poachers ability to turn over possession, assisted by Gareth Murphy. Ryan Flanagan then made ground before Omagh released their backs that again moved the ball well to Walsh to show his pace and power to score out wide on the right beating several would be tacklers in the process. O’Neill stroked over the conversion to leave the score 12-0 and Omagh in buoyant mood.

After another turnover assisted by Aaron Hetherington, number 10, O’Neill showed great hands and pace, carrying in two hands he was involved several times before popping an inside pass to the supporting Brown only to be held up short. The ref came back for an advantage for Omagh and O’Neill kicked the points to make it 15-0.

As has happened too often this season Omagh became a bit complacent and the Enniskillen left wing went over in the corner to make the half time score 15-5 to Omagh.

Now playing down the slope and with a breeze in their favour Omagh played most to the rugby in the Enniskillen half in the second period. McFarland and Flanagan showing good strength and James Kee was trying to outdo McDowell in the poachers role – he does get into some unusual places at the bottom of rucks.

Again from a good position in midfield Omagh moved the ball well and Johnny McFarland, who was enjoying being back in the company of the pack made a great break to score in the corner from well out – just as well because he is too fast for the support on most occasions. A great score to seal the win followed when Walsh took an inside ball to beat several defenders and crash over.

Enniskillen managed a late consolation try to lave the final score 25-10 in Omagh’s favour.

A good win with some promising back moves orchestrated by O’Neill and Sweeney. In the forwards McFarland was back to his best and Hopton-Brown showed how effective he can be when he keeps his mind on the game with a ‘man of the match’ performance.

Something to build on for the cup next year if the lads can work on some areas at training.

Omagh Team:

Aaron Heatherington, Mark Hopton-Brown, Ryan Flanagan, James Short, James Kee, Macauley Killen, Freddie McDowell, Johnny McFarland, Gareth Murphy, Eoin Murnaghan, Packie O’Neill, Matthew Sweeney, Jamie Walsh, Alastair McFarland, Trent Brown, Dylan Flanagan, Conor Devine, Stewart Robinson

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