Donegal picked up another win on the road Saturday afternoon, giving them three from three for their season so far.
Donegal Town RFC 22
Newry RFC 13
Opting to play with the wind in the first half, they hoped to notch up enough of a lead to quell any possible resurgence from the Newry men in the second half. This wasn’t to be however, with Donegal failing to put any real pressure on Newry’s defence, with the exception of Jason Vance and Declan Bushell making breaks into the Newry 22.
Half-time arrived with Donegal leading twelve points to nil with four penalties from Pete-so Cannon, but this was hardly the unassailable lead Donegal had been hoping for. And with the commencement of the second half Donegal found themselves under the cosh, resulting in some excellent goal line defence from Bryan Mulhern, Ronan Haughey and his Gillespie namesake. Newry would however breach the Donegal line and later add a penalty to make it ten points to twelve.
The tide appeared to be turning and a vital win seemed to be slipping through Donegal’s fingers, as an air of inevitability crept through the ranks. When, with ten minutes left a back line move, one which has been practiced repeatedly for years on end at Friday nights training on the shores of the Holmes, allowed Declan Bushell to pierce a solid Newry line and then step the full back to go in under the post to make the score nineteen to ten. Newry would score one final penalty, but was essentially nullified by a final penalty from Donegal leaving the score Donegal 22 Newry 13.
Donegal were well below par, never getting out of third gear, but can take solace in their ability to under perform whilst maintaining their winning ways. Next up for Donegal is a “home” fixture to be played in Derry City’s home grounds against the PSNI on Saturday at 2:30.