Omagh thoroughly deserved their win over a depleted Donaghadee team, outscoring the visitors by four tries to two on a heavy pitch at the Thomas Mellon playing fields.
The game started promising for Donaghadee, as number eight Richard Millar drove the ball deep into the Omagh twenty two. Quick ball was presented for the Dee captain and prop Chris Good to storm over for a well worked try; Millar was unable to add the points to his conversion attempt.
From the restart Omagh camped themselves into the Dee twenty two. From a Donaghadee lineout fifteen metres out, the Omagh forwards pinched the ball to allow their impressive prop Stephen Rutledge to score an unconverted try to level the scores.
Omagh through their forwards were dominating the breakdown, and Donaghadee were being forced into conceding penalties. Omagh missed one kick at goal and then turned down a kick in front of the posts, opting instead for a five metre lineout. The Dee defence held out, and won a penalty to clear their lines. After 30 minutes Omagh were awarded a penalty 35 metres out, allowing Colin Gibson to kick and give Omagh the lead by 8 - 5.
Much to the surprise of both teams and supporters, the referee then sin-binned the Omagh number eight for holding on to the ball at the breakdown. Omagh had a further penalty opportunity to extend their lead which was missed to leave the halftime score at 8 - 5.
Donaghadee attacked from the kick-off at the beginning of the second half, with Richard Millar and winger Rory Garnham carrying play deep into the Omagh twenty two. A high tackle on Garnham allowed Millar to level the scores with a well struck penalty from 30 metres, with the Omagh number seven being sent to the sin bin. Straight from the restart Omagh plied pressure on Donaghadee, forcing a lineout on the Dee twenty two. Again that man Rutledge was on the end of a well worked move to allow him to score his second try, with Gibson adding the points to increase their lead to 15 - 8.
The Dee team, urged on by the impressive number 8 Millar, came back at Omagh. From a scrum on the Omagh ten metre line, Millar picked up and left the Omagh defence in his wake as he side stepped the Omagh winger to score a superb individual try in the corner. Despite the difficult conditions Millar then kicked the touchline conversion to level the scores at 15 - 15. With both teams vying for possession and territory it was the Omagh team who scored a an excellent try involving several of their players with their number eight securing the touchdown. Gibson added the points to put Omagh 22 - 15 in front with ten minutes left. Referee Quinn then sin-binned the Dee's influential number eight Millar - much to the delight of the Omagh supporters. With the Dee team in disarray, Omagh went on to score a further 15 unanswered points, through two excellent tries from Andy McFarland and Colin Gibson, with Gibson converting one of these and a further penalty. Omagh ran out deserved winners and coach Allister Brown can be proud of his teams performance, as they have now won three out of their last four league matches, with only a narrow one point defeat away to Carrickfergus spoiling their good run.
Next Saturday 7th November, Donaghadee 1st XV take a break from Kukri Qualifying League 2 and instead turn their minds to what, for many of the Dee supporters, will be the 'big match' of this season. In the 125th year of Donaghadee Rugby Club's existance, what better way to mark the occasion with a game at home versus Bangor RFC - the team who Donaghadee first lined up against all those years ago. Kick-Off at Donaldson Park - Donaghadee vs Bangor, Sat 7th November, 2.30pm.