Rugby: Same old story as Dungannon lose out to City of Derry

Ross McCaughey in control at a lineout
Ross McCaughey in control at a lineout

Dungannon’s lowly season continues. At Judges Road on Saturday City of Derry were on their way for a bonus point win by the half hour.

The home side led 34-0 at the break. It was a much more even contest in the second half with each side scoring three tries but there was no denying the Derry men who skipped home on a 53-17 score line.

Conditions were excellent for a running game and when Derry applied early pressure it was a little sloppy with Dungannon trying hard to take advantage. Good breaks from Matthew Montgomery, James McMahon and John Joe Kane looked promising before Jack Milligan went close with a penalty on 12 minutes. The home side soon settled though and when Andrew Semple sold an outrageous ‘dummy’ the same player went all the way for a self converted try two minutes later.

Dungannon bounced back with a midfield attack before a ‘knock on’ saw Derry take advantage when Semple sent Willie McCleery racing away. Semple added the extras and then a penalty midway through the half. Derry continued to press forward and added a further 3 tries before the break. Jonny Lyons, Tiernan Thornton and David Ferguson all crossed the whitewash with Semple adding one conversion.

Trailing by 34 points Dungannon had a mountain to climb and they started the second half well. A notable break from Milligan led to a try for the industrious Gerard Treanor on 44 minutes. The visitors better form continued with a second try courtesy of Andrew Mills but in between Derry’s Ferguson dotted down to complete his brace.

Midway through the half a scuffle amongst the forwards led to a second Derry player getting yellow carded and the game became rather scrappy for a time. When it settled down the Canada bound McCleery, in his last game for Derry raced in to complete his brace on 70 minutes. Dungannon responded well wish Montgomery stretching his legs for a fine try that Milligan converted.

It looked like finishing 46-17 before Semple brought his personal tally to 23 points with a converted try right on the full time whistle.