Dungannon RFC 21-30 Donaghadee RFC: Donaghadee March On in the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup
Donaghadee Rugby Club's 1st XV, still buoyant from their league win against CIYMS, returned to Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup action on Saturday and put in a fantastic performance coming out 30-21 winners against a strong Dungannon 2nd XV.
Donaghadee started poorly and the home side dominated the game, leading 6-3 after ten minutes played. It was a fantastic tackle from a restart by Kenny McCombe that seemed to spark the Dee team into action.
Donaghadee’s first try of the game was scored by Richard Millar on the 20th minute after excellent distribution by Alastair Lockhart; the athletic Millar showing great pace to break away from the Dungannon defence.
Donaghadee continued to dominate play and extended their lead on the 26th minute as Miller turned provider - offloading to the supporting Ricardo Santos following another trademark break, after skipper Bobby Harpur had collected a Blewitt garryowen. Santos’s superb angle gave him a clear run under the posts to allow him to easily convert his own try, giving Dee a 15 – 6 lead.
Donaghadee’s lead was reduced to four points at the end of the second half with Dungannon scoring their first try of the afternoon on the 33rd minute.
Half-Time: Dungannon 11 – Donaghadee 15
Donaghadee had a terrific start to the second period scoring two tries in the first seven minutes. The first was from a failed Dungannon attack inside their own half, Richard Millar pouncing on a spilled ball and racing 40 yards to score under the posts. The second of these tries was manufactured by Lockhart and scored by Chris Good. Lockhart received the ball on the half way line and with limited options available attacked the Dungannon defence, opting to kick over the oncoming defenders. Although the bounce of the ball was not kind enough to allow Lockhart to collect and get full reward, the Dee scrum half was more than happy to see last season’s club captain Chris Good capitalize to give Dee a healthy lead. Santos converted to make it 27-11.
The home side, understandably rocked by this incredible start by the Junior league club took some time to get back into the game and enjoy sustained periods of possession. On the 65th minute they scored their second try of the game on the counter attack, the aspect of play in which they looked most dangerous during the entire game. The score was converted to reduce Donaghadee’s advantage to nine points.
However Donaghadee’s defensive unit held strong, with some all-important tackles from Chris Schofield, Paul Blewitt and Gareth Gordon. A Dungannon penalty in the 76th minute made for an interesting end to a fantastic game, but the large Dee travelling support’s nerves were put to rest when Santos kicked a late penalty to secure the Junior Club’s win.
Full-Time: Dungannon 21 – Donaghadee 30
This win secures Donaghadee’s place in the semi-final, with a home fixture versus Portadown due to be played on December 3rd – another date to look forward to in what is developing into an exciting season for the Donaghadee club.
Coaches Ian Martindale and John Blewitt were delighted with the attitude and application of their team at Stevenson Park. Both coaches were quick to recognise the impact the fantastic support has on the side with over 100 Donaghadee supporters making the trip to Tyrone on Saturday.
Scoops Man of the Match: The scorer of two tries and provider of one, Richard Millar, is hitting a rich vein of form and playing extremely well with some very good running in open play being rewarded with three tries in his last two outings.
Donaghadee team vs. Dungannon: (15-9) Billy Allen, Ricardo Santos, Bobby Harpur, Nigel Barker, Chris McGivern (Rory Garnham), Paul Blewitt, Alastair Lockhart; (1-8) Chris Schofield, Gareth Gordon, Chris Good, Kalave Aualiitia, Paul Hamilton, Richard Martindale, Kenny McCombe, Richard Miller (Keith McIlwaine). Fixtures: The 1st XV return to league action away to Limavady on Saturday 26th November. Anyone interested in traveling on the club coach should contact a committee member.