The victorious Donegal Town first XV
Donegal Town's 1XV welcomed Academy 2nds to a wet and windy Holmes on Saturday afternoon with the home side emerging victorious by five points.
Donegal Town 1st XV.....22
Academy 2nd XV...........17
This was the second win of the season in four starts for Donegal Town in Ulster Rugby Provincial Division 4.
Academy took an early lead with an unconverted try in the 10th minute following some sustained pressure.
Donegal then began to settle into the game building phases and playing some good territory with Cormac Gallagher, Shane Gillespie and Ciaran Donaghy carrying well.
The locals had Academy under some serious pressure in the pack and following a number of penalties scrum half Deci Bushell opted for a quick penalty and found on running centre Lee Mosby, who barged over from close range. Bushell added the conversion to make it 7-5.
With conditions deteriorating as the game progressed, some handling errors crept in for both sides. Donegal then lost influential number eight Gareth McMurray to injury. It was Academy who got the next score with another unconverted try to take a half time lead of 10-7.
The second half saw Academy forcing the home side to defend their own twenty two for long periods.
Donegal twice lost players to the bin and soaked up some serious pressure before Academy crossed the whitewash for a converted try on the 50th minute to extend their lead to 17-7.
But Donegal heads did not drop and the pack, directed by Bushell, began to play deep in Academy territory. Following some sustained pressure Bushell once again found Mosby from a tap to reduce the arrears 17-12.
Donegal continued to dominate the physical battle up front with Darragh Farragher having a huge influence from the back of the scrum.
From a scrum inside the Academy half, front row McGurn, Anderson and McGinty provided the platform for Farragher to make some ground on the blindside to offload to winger Rian McNulty who carried just short of the line and following a number of phases Daniel Gildea crossed from close range on the 70th minute to put Donegal ahead, 19-17
Man-of-the-match Bushell added another penalty on the 73rd minute 22-17 and Donegal managed to see the game out for a well-deserved victory.
A special mention must also be made to captain Ernan Cassidy playing at full-back on his "lordy-lordy" birthday.