Donegal Town RFC get their rugby season up and running

The 2018/19 season has commenced following some good off-field work in the summer. A very successful golf classic was held at Murvagh, many thanks to all involved. Donegal Town hosted a touring Athy RFC side on the 18th of August – the perfect opportunity for newly appointed management team of Jimmy Brogan and Lance Feaver to assess the players on offer for the season ahead. Groundskeeper Ernan had Ireland’s ‘most picturesque’ club’s facilities is top class condition and all involved were treated to a very enjoyable day on and off the pitch, many thanks to Vinnie Murray and Athy for travelling.

Senior training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.45 with some good fitness work under the watchful eye of Danny Hughes. New faces are welcome as always. Players are reminded that memberships are now overdue and can be given to membership secretary Ciaran Donaghy, or club captains.

The club are continuing to erect advertising hoardings at the pitch, many thanks to all the local businesses who have supported. There are still spaces available and if any business wishes to receive further information they can contact club President Charlie McGinty or any committee or club member.

The Rugby lotto continues and sellers will be active in the town as the season continues. Support from the local community is greatly appreciated. Last draw took place on the 26th August, €50 runner up prize won by Myles Gillespie. The jackpot is currently €1300.

Mini Rugby has also recommenced with a fun-filled practice for ages 6-12 taking place on Saturday mornings at 9.45-11.00 at the Holmes. Gum shields must be wore. All support and help greatly appreciated.

The club wish to extend sympathy to senior Cormac Gallagher and family on the death of his father.

Donegal Town 2nd XV 33

Cookstown . . . . . . . . . .43

A free flowing high scoring game which could of went to either side but on this occasion Cookstown took the spoils. The game started following a minute silence as a mark of respect following the sudden death of Michael Gallagher, father of player Cormac Gallagher.

Once again Donegal Town gave themselves a mountain to climb while although dominating the scrums and lineouts Cookstown scored three unanswered tris to leave the score 0-17 on 24 minutes.

Donegal went back to basics and kept the ball tight. Following good carries from Ronan Haughey and Paddy Forde Donegal found themselves deep in the opposition 22. Quick ball was unleashed to the on-running Ciaran Donaghy and he crashed over for Donegal’s first score and his first in a Donegal shirt. Donaghy is said to have undergone a rigorous pre-season routine overseen by father in-law and club legend Victor Kearney.

Donegal were now playing some good rugby and territory. However, it’s the scoreboard that counts and Cookstown added to theirs with a breakaway try. Donegal again worked their way up the pitch, opportunistic scrumhalf Hugh Morrow making good ground with a number of quick tap penalties, causing some debate between the rugby experts on the side-lines. Following some good interplay between forwards and backs Declan Bushell unleashed veteran David Murray who hit the afterburners to outpace his opposite number and finish in the corner, unfortunately injuring his hamstring in the process. Victor Mitchell slotted the conversion.

Donegal continued to dominate territory and saw themselves camped on the opposition try line for the remainder of the half but Cookstown held firm and were glad to hear the half time whistle. Half time score 14-21.

Deja vu for Donegal in the second half, Cookstown scoring two unanswered tries to leave the Donegal lads with an uphill battle. Donegal pulled one back through Deci Bushell following some strong running and offload from debutant Shane Patton with the conversion from Victor Mitchell leaving the score line at 21-33.

Still a two score game Donegal lost their discipline seeing a penalty in front of their own posts overturned. Cookstown gladly took the 3 points. Donegal composed themselves with forwards Jimmy Brogan and Laurie McCauchan carrying well. Bushell again crossed the line leaving the score 26-36. Donegal Town again camped in the opposition twenty two however again Cookstown managed a breakaway try converted in the 77th minute. Donegal Town didn’t let their heads drop and continued up the pitch. Following a good carry Paddy Forde off loaded to Hugh Morrow who crossed the line and converted with the last kick of the game.

Plenty of food for thought for the management team with plenty of positives to be taken from the game. Unfortunately hooker Keith Anderson could not celebrate his birthday with a win. (Always next year Keith!!).

The 1st XV kick off their season this Saturday with a home fixture Vs Cooke. Kick off 2.30pm. All support greatly appreciated.