Perennials RFC Notes: I XVIIII 6 v Dungannon RFC Medallion Side 8 REPORT LIVE HERE!

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perennials rugby clubWith a horror weather forecast warning, 19 players and the alikadoos made their way to Dungannon for the captain’s fixture, A handful of cry-offs in the morning, most notably Ricky McIlmoyle “it’s too wet, my spray tan might run, meant that most of the guys had to play the whole match. As it turned out, the forecasts were as accurate as usual and it was rather a pleasant day for rugby.

Dungannon, with the help of a few lads who probably got their first razor for Christmas, took a commanding lead in the first session going 3-0 up, scoring their first try after only 5 minutes and only a forward pass prevented them adding a very quick second one. However the hosts soon made up for this and despite a great tap tackle by Neil McConkey, they soon crossed for their second. Their third try came when their U20’s winger, whom we gave him a lift from Belfast in our bus, chased his own kick to beat Marcus Cummings to the touch down. Things were looking very ominous.

However the Perennials weren’t going to lie down, and following a neat scissors between Peter Sandford and Jan Cunningham, Don Thompson went on a trademark run to score. A touch of sneaky speech play by the home No10 was then picked up by referee David Armstrong, always alert to these things and Mike Watson scored in the corner from the resulting penalty. As the first third came to an end, Dungannon created an impressive three man overlap to finish this period 4 tries to 2 in front.

The selectors then used the power of the bench and introduced Gerry O’Donnell for the second session, and the impact was immediate; Dungannon scored again, a second for our new found U20 friend. The Perennials then produced some great rugby, with Jan Cunningham being caught just short of the line and following good work by Peter Sandford, Don Thompson scored yet again. Gary Treanor came on to replace the injured Joel Callaghan and shortly after Michael McAlister and Davy Wilson combined to feed Jan Cunningham, to reduce the deficit to 5 tries to 4. The time was now right for Gerry O’Donnell to have a short breather, Terry Moore returned to the fray and the two teams exchanged tries, with Michael McAlister scoring for the Perennials, to leave the score 6 tries to 5 going into the final session.

This was as close as we were going to get to catching them. Dungannon scored straight from the kick-off, and with only 10 minutes left on the clock the selectors replaced the entire front row, with Gerry O’Donnell advising the crowd that he was needed, As before, his introduction was immediately followed by a Dungannon try, with our U20 friend getting his hat-trick. The match ended with a try for Mark Goldsbrough after some great play by the Perennials, to leave the final scores 8 tries to 6 for Dungannon.

Time for that well-earned pint, but unfortunately the Dungannon bar doesn’t open on the Sabbath, Luckily President Geoff Goldsborough came well prepared and a shebeen was set up from the back of the bus in the car park – calm returned to the fold.

Our hosts treated us to an excellent curry (with orange juice flowing), speeches and ties were exchanged, and all then headed home, with Terry Moore heading via the South Tyrone Hospital for a few stitches.

A big thank you to referee David Armstrong, Dungannon for their hospitality, and to all Perennials who turned up.

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