Letterkenny RFC made the trip to a foggy Portadown to face 2nd place PSNI in the Kukri Championship Division 3 on Saturday afternoon.
PSNI opened the day's scoring with a penalty after a Letterkenny infringement at the ruck. After that Letterkenny dominated the half. A well placed kick from Faulkner was followed up by a strong chase led by Peter Scott who forced a penalty just inside the Police 22. Letterkenny kicked the resulting penalty to touch and after the initial line-out drive was deliberately collapsed by the home side, Conall Sheridan fed Dave Brown who crashed over two defenders to score in the corner with Faulkner adding the extras.
More Letterkenny pressure led to opposition knock-ons and two scrum penalties were brilliantly dispatched by the impressive Faulkner to leave Letterkenny in a strong 13-3 lead approaching half time.
However PSNI did not lie down and scored twice in quick succession and by half time, they led 17-13
Letterkenny came out for the second half obviously still reeling from the end to that first half and conceded almost immediately. Minutes later PSNI again crossed the whitewash for a well taken try.
This seemed to finally awaken Letterkenny from their slumber and they came right back at their hosts. Letterkenny continued to dominate the Police scrum winning penalty after penalty and it was from one of these penalties that Letterkenny scored next when outhalf Faulkner took a quick tap and weaved his way past 3 tacklers to go in under the posts. Unfortunately thoughts of the comeback were short lived as the home side scored straight from the kick off, and then as Letterkenny went in hunt of another try, PSNI turned the ball over and ran 60 metres to score in the corner, although there was a very large suspicion of a foot in touch from the scorer.
Letterkenny never gave up however, and after a series of maulings at scrum time from the impressive Brown, Canning and Digimas, the referee finally lost patience with the home team's front row and sent their loosehead for 10 minutes in the sinbin.
Indeed from the next phase of play another of the home side's players could have seen yellow after a high shot on Letterkennys hooker Canning, again Faulkner tapped quickly and caught the police napping to run in under the posts.
Letterkenny will be disappointed not to have come away with a better result on the day after a dominant set piece display. However, the slick Police back line were the difference in the end.
A young Letterkenny team can take heart that they went toe to toe against the league's second place team and caused them all kinds of problems, the Letterkenny pack and front row in particular dominated their opposite numbers, and young Peter Scott, making his senior debut, can be extremely proud of his efforts.
Daniel Faulkner was the stand out player on the day scoring 22 of Letterkenny's points.
Letterkenny RFC: David Brown, Gary Canning, Christopher Digimas, Diarmuid Gallagher, Conor Dunleavy, Keelan Kriel, Stephen Holmes, Craig Heron, Conall Sheridan, Daniel Faulkner, Dáire Nolan, Michael Foy, Peter Scott, Evin Walsh, Tiarnán O'Dea. Subs: Martin Molloy, Paul Madigan.