Donegal Town RFC U-15s had Carrickfergus at the Holmes on Saturday morning in the semi-final of Ulster Carpets League Cup semi-final. The reward for the winner is a place in the final to be played in Ravenhill on the first Saturday in May. The weather was dry with a strong breeze blowing towards the club house.
Donegal played with the breeze in the first half and tested the Carrickfergus defence with no success during the first ten minutes. Matthew Dalton, number 12 for Carrick, went on a run through the Donegal defence eluding tackle after tackle to score a try in the corner after fifteen minutes of play. This was converted by out-half Sam Gorman which was a difficult kick into the wind. Donegal continued to press for a score but were denied on two occasions when handling errors let them down. Carrick scored another try when their winger Evan Sloane got over the line in the corner. This meant the home side were twelve points down at half time.
Donegal had everything to do in the second half. They were twelve points down and playing against a stiff breeze. They took the game to Carrick and sustained a constant barrage on their defence and were rewarded when forward Luke Foy powered over the line to score a try with twelve minutes gone in the second half. More pressure from Donegal resulted in prop-forward Patrick Forde crashing over for a try five minutes later.
Donegal unfortunately missed the conversion which would have tied the game. Carrick now went on the offensive to close out the game and were rewarded with a penalty which their out-half Sam Gorman coolly converted.
For the remaining seven minutes Donegal were camped in the Carrick half of the field trying to get that elusive score that would win the game. It was backs to the wall defence for Carrick and they repelled attack after attack to close out the game and advance to a place in the final. When referee Shane Roper blew the final whistle it was heartbreak for the Donegal players.
It’s the end of the 2012-13 Rugby season now for the Donegal players. They have been together since last August. They have attended 30 training sessions and played in 15 competitive games. (Ten league games winning five and losing five. Five cup games winning four and losing their final game to Carrick.) They have played in the premier league and competed with the best teams in Ulster and even though there is no silverware to show for all of this it has been a good season and great credit goes to the lads for their dedication and commitment..