Rugby: Another day, another home defeat for Dungannon

Mark O'Shea gets a firm grip in a tackle.
Mark O'Shea gets a firm grip in a tackle.

Dungannon’s lowly season continues and at Stevenson Park on Saturday, Cashel ran out worthy 22-0 winners after leading 15-0 at the break.

The late withdrawals of Stephen Sinnamon and James McMahon did not help in the face of a lively visiting pack that kept possession well, denying the home side any real opportunities.

The Tipperary men scored a third try on 70 minutes and all credit to gallant Dungannon they denied the visitors a bonus point try as they defended the line in the closing stages.

Cashel faced the breeze in the opening half but settled quickly following a penalty lineout drive at the corner. Hooker, Niall Fitzgerald claimed the try and the visitors went 5 points ahead on 4 minutes. Dungannon bounced back with a notable run from John McGuckin before Jack Milligan went close with a 40 metre penalty. A Matthew Montgomery chip through the Cashel defence fared no better and, as Cashel rooted the ball downfield, fullback, Pat O’Connor landed a penalty on 16 minutes.

Going into the second quarter James Bates did well to retrieve the ball after a Cashel forward ‘knocked on’ at a set scrum. Alas, a penalty let the visitors off the hook and at the other end a lengthy period of pressure paved the way for Aidan Barron to score at a post. O’Connor added the extras but Dungannon suffered a setback with both Ross McCaughey and Peter Smith both taken off injured.

Bates then ran from defence following a lineout drive but the ball rolled to touch before onrushing Mark O’Shea could finish the offensive.

Dungannon started the second half well with Milligan breaking into the Cashel 22. At the ensuing ruck the visitors looked a little offside and the chance was lost. David Leyburn then secured a good lineout catch but the throw was whistled up and Cashel went back on the offensive.

Another siege on the Dungannon line was repulsed following a ‘knock on’ per Joshe Moyn. Keeping the ball in the opposition half and using the forwards to make the hard yards was the visiting tactics and they paid off once more when Eamonn Connolly crashed over on 70 minutes. O’Connor sealed the issue with a conversion.

Although beaten Dungannon did well to withstand a late siege as the Tipp men tried hard for a late bonus point try.

Dungannon: John McGuckin, Mark O’Shea, Matthew Montgomery, Ethan Allen, Gerard Treanor, Jack Milligan, James Bates, Sean O’Hagan, Karl Egan, Glen Sinnamon, John Joe Kane, Ross McCaughey, Stephen Todd, Peter Gilkinson, Peter Smith. Subs: Peter Kidd, David Leyburn, Daniel Maxwell, Richard Lavery, Rodney Blair.

Cashel: Pat O’Connor, Eamonn Connolly, Zachary Stryffeler, Cedric Unholz, Adam O’Loughlin, Ben Swindlehurst, Aidon Barron, James Maxwell, Niall Fitzgerald, Michael Kelly, sean Walsh, Brendan Crosse, Michael Croose, Edward Leamy, Josh Moyn. Subs: Cathal Ryan, Cormac O’Donnell, Kieran Gleeson, Brian Silke, Dearan McGrath.

Referee: Paul Haycock, IRFU

Clogher Valley Ladies 35 Dungannon Ladies 27

There were tries galore at the Cran on Friday night when the Clogher Valley Ladies hosted their Dungannon counterparts.

The hosts dominated the first half to lead 28-5 at the break, Katie Burns dotting down for the visitors points.

In the second half Dungannon held the upper hand and came close to closing the gap. First, it was Teah Cullen who acted as provider when Burns raced in for her second score. Valley hit back with another converted try but normal service resumed when, following good work by Grace Shestha and Caitlyn Lynch, Lucy Turkington crossed the whitewash.

Dungannon continued to close the gap with Burns adding two more tries. Turkington added one conversion and the score stood at 35-27. However, with snow falling and time running out the final whistle sounded as the Valley girls held on for victory.

Team : Katie Burns, Lucy Turkington, Kim Johnston, Laura Saunders, Aoife Haggan, Grace Shrestha, Hannah Scott Burrows, Georgia Gross, Teah Cullen, Caitlyn Lynch

Irish rugby followers will have the Six Nations clash in mind this weekend when unbeaten sides Ireland and England meet at the Aviva Stadium.

That said, there is another round of All Ireland League games and Dungannon have a challenging trip to third placed Skerries. The hosts tasted victory against Rainey on Saturday with the result leaving them just one point behind second placed Blackrock. With four matches still remaining they could still leap-frog their Leinster neighbours. Bottom-placed Dungannon face a serious challenge.

Skerries v Dungannon

Dungannon II v Harlequins II

Cooke III v Dungannon III

On Tuesday Dungannon Royal School face Lurgan College in the final of the Schools Trophy competition.

The ‘Midas Touch’ lived up to their name when they won the weekly Table Quiz organised by the South Tyrone U3A. Chairperson, Gertie Greenaway thanked all those who supported the event that raised over £500 for local charities. Full marks to Kieran and Martini for acting as quizmasters.