Winning the Ards way
The sun was shining at Hamilton Park as Dungannon secured a full compliment of points in this Ulster Senior League encounter with Ards.
However, they were made to work hard for most of the game before indiscipline from the home side cost them two players to the ‘bin’ allowing the visitors to get over the line for the bonus point.
Playing into the breeze in the first half Dungannon started brightly and went close on a few occasions but it was the home side who managed to counter attack from a turnover and almost went the length of the field for the opening score before the referee called them back for a forward pass.
This spurred the Dungannon backs into life and after a good break from centre, Paul Magee he linked well with out-half Sean Conway who fed Mark Faloon and eventually Peter Cashel who chipped into the corner and touched down for the try on 14 minutes.
The Ards out-half then made the most of the breeze for much of the first half, punishing the visitors with a series of long kicks into the Dungannon 22. The pressure paid off as they were awarded two penalties in quick succession that were duly slotted by the Ards winger to give them a 6-5 lead after the half hour mark.
Dungannon came back into the game after this period and towards the end of the half started to lift the intensity of the game. It was a quick tap from Paul Jackson in the Ards 22 that caught the home side napping as he fed James McMahon who sprinted into the corner for the second try of the game. Gareth McGonigle converted to make it 6-12 at the break.
With the breeze and a few changes in the second half Dungannon started brightly and began to stamp their authority on the game forcing Ards to infringe. A series of good carries from Jackson and Plunkett McCallan sucked in the defence and swift delivery at the base led the visitors to play the best rugby of the day.
Dungannon made the most of this pressure and from a scrum on the home 22, more strong running from Magee allowed him to slip the pass to fellow centre, Faloon who had the simple task of running over the line from short range. McGonigle added the simple extras to make it 6-19.
Dungannon continued to pressure and went close on a number of occasions before the referee had his fill and sent the Ards flanker to the sin bin, quickly followed by their hooker. From the second of these penalties Dungannon took a quick tap inside the 22 which went to McCallan who carried a number of defenders over the line to touch down under the posts. McGonigle again added the simple conversion to make it 6-26 after 65 minutes. The remainder of the game was a rather scrappy affair until the referee sounded the final whistle.
Dungannon: Mark O.Shea, Peter Cashel, Mark Faloon, Paul Magee, Darren Simpson, Sean Conway, Gareth McGonigle, James McMahon, Jeremy Turkington, Derek Hall, Plunkett McCallan, Michael Dunleavy, Ben Howard, Paul Jackson, Steven Sinnamon. Subs: Gary Maxwell, Phil Whyte, David Spence, Jerome McClure
Ards 6 Dungannon 26
Armagh 6 City of Derry 25
Ballymena 19 Harlequins 11
Ballynahinch 36 Banbridge 13
Queens 31 Malone 21
Rainey 39 Instonians 26
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Weather for Dungannon
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South