Lurgan 32 Limavady 31
Late Lurgan Surgeons Seals Victory
For the fourth year in a row the underdog prevailed in the final of Ulster Rugby’s Gordon West Cup. In a game that ebb and flowed, the crowd at a sun drenched Kingspan Stadium were entertained to an end of season classic.
It was Lurgan that made all the early running and a fifth minute Steven Nolan penalty was just reward for their bright start. But it didn’t take long for the Q3 champions to respond. On seven minutes Robert Lamberton came off his right wing and popped the ball off to Jamie Mo Miller who touched down for a two point lead. If that response was quick, the Lurgan reply was instant. Winger Ryan Mooney made a break down the right and the ball found its way to second row Neil Adamson who crashed over the line to put the Mid – Ulster side back in front. Full. Ack Nolan converted for a 10-5 lead with just 11mins on the clock.
Limavady started to get more possession in the second quarter and when out-half Luke Faulkner made a break and found himself in oceans of space and raced clear to touchdown in the corner. Jack McCool added the extras to put the cup holders 12-10 ahead. Limavady upped the ante and after winning a linocut in the Lurgan ’22’ Clive Scott eventually touched down.
It was all Limavady now and in first half injury time, and with Lurgan down to fourteen players following Michael Campbell’s yellow card, Robert Lamberton powered his way through the Lurgan defence to score under the posts. Jack McCool converted for a 24-10 half time lead.
Like the first half, it was Lurgan who made all the early running in the second half, and a penalty and converted Daniel Lyness try by Steven Nolan had it a four point game by the 69th minute. Lurgan had a spring in their step and were looking for that crucial next score, but on 73 mins Robert Lamberton left countless Lurgan defends in his wake to score a fabulous individual try that Tommy Bowe himself would have been proud of.
But, yet again Lurgan stormed back and flanker Chris Cassidy found a hole in the Limavady defence to reduce the gap to four points with the help of a Nolan conversion.
Then deep into added time the Pollock Park outfit advanced en mass into the Limavady ’22’ and after a some patient build up, it was full back and Man Of The Match Steven Nolan who got the vital touchdown for a one point lead.
There was still time for one more play, but Lurgan’s discipline and hunger saw them see out the click to record an epic win after a titanic battle.
A disappointing day for the lads, but all credit to Lurgan who never accepted defeat and fully deserved their win.
Team: P. Wilson, R. Lamberton, J.M. Miller, J . McCool, S. Roddy, L. Faulkner, J. Miller. C. Scott, J. Blair, A. McIlmoyle, J. Purcell, M. Rice, S. Mackey, P. Browne, D. Irvine
Replacements. S. McLaughlin, C. Tinney, M. Haslett, T. McClelland, G. Jordan.
Next week it’s back to the league for the last match of the season. A rearranged fixture against Ophir as the Roesiders attempt to close out their league season with a 100% win rate.
The seconds have a somewhat cup final of their own. They go to the Palace Grounds to play Armagh 3rds, and whoever comes out on top of that one will gain promotion to Junior Lague 3.