Donegal Town RFC
The Donegal 2nds are starting to build some momentum in the ranks of Ulster minor rugby. Last week an impressive victory over neighbours Inishowen in the league, this week an even more impressive win over a well organised Civil Service 2nds in the first round of the McCambley Cup.
Donegal Town 2nds 41
Civil Service 2nds 5
With the 1st team making the tough trip to Belfast to face league leaders Queen’s University, every available body, old and young, was called upon to ensure both teams fielded.
The coaches were delighted with the calibre of player available, the return of experienced players Shane Gillespie, Lee Mosley and Peter McDyre to bolster a side full of speed power and aggression.
Donegal played some good territory in the opening minutes and opened the scoring when the ever improving Shaun Diver crossed the line following some good work from the pack. Converted. Donegal continued to keep ball in hand but a well organised Civil Service were able to frustrate the home side while competing for every ruck and slowing the game down.
Following some good defending out half Alex Boyd made a good clearance which was well chased down by winger Ciaran Cornyn. Ball was turned over deep in the opposition 22, recycled well and following a couple of phases Lee Mosley crashed over for Donegal’s second. Donegal kept the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty converted by Andrew Walsh on the 20th minute.
The Civil Servants then opted for a running game keeping the ball in hand and sucking the Donegal defenders in phase after phase. After a lengthy spell of tough defending Donegal were disappointed to concede an unconverted try on the 30th minute. 17-5.
Donegal once again tried to keep ball in hand with Civil Service happy to concede penalties in order to slow the play down at the breakdown. Donegal found touch from a penalty and from the lineout, thrower Laurie McCaughan found Daniel Gildea and the pack mauled over the line only for the ball to be held up. Following the 5m scrum Shaun Diver managed to get over for his second from short distance, unconverted. Half Time 22-5.
The second half started as the first ended with a lot of broken play and the home side unable to get any consistency, however each individual winning his own battle, and forwards Robert Hannifan Colten Friel and Kevin McGinty relishing the challenge. Ciaran Cornyn showed his pace to cross the line under the posts on the 40th minute following good work by Alex Boyd and Pete McDyre.
Hugh Morrow made a break following a chip and chase however the ball crossed the dead ball line. From the resulting 22 drop out Shaun Diver caught the ball and took an excellent line beating the first tackler before weaving between 4 defenders and crossing under the posts on the 55th minute. Converted 36-5.
Following this Civil Service did not let their heads go down and continued to frustrate at the breakdown while opting to run at a tiring Donegal at every opportunity. Donegal then suffered a number of injuries loosing John Harkin and Shane Gillespie. Civil Service then threw everything at the depleted home side and following some pressure the penalty count mounted and Donegal had two men shown yellow cards in quick succession. With Donegal down to twelve they had to dig deep with some brave defending on their own try line.
Following a turnover Alex Boyd launched a clearing kick which was chased by Walsh and Cornyn who forced the knock on and from the resulting scrum just inside the 22 Shaun Diver picked at the base and could not be stopped from crossing the line for a fine individual try on the 74rd minute, unconverted 41-5.
Donegal managed to hold their line for the remainder of the game with Civil Service throwing everything at them for the score. Coach Jimmy Brogan was very happy with the team effort with some fine individual performances from Laurie McCaughan and Alex Boyd.
Colton Friel, and Rob Hannafin both had an excellent 70 minutes however Shaun Diver put in a man of the match performance with four tries.
Donegal 2nd XV captain Ciaran Harley will eagerly await the draw for the next round to be played on the 15th of December while the 1st XV have a home fixture this week on 8th of December 2.30pm followed by the club’s annual darts tournament.
This week’s Lotto no jackpot winner, €50 prize won by Declan Gallagher, Ballintra. Next week’s jackpot is €1550, all support is greatly appreciated.