A match played in good conditions emphasised the difference between an experienced team that has largely played together for some time and a young inexperienced team still working to assess strengths and weaknesses and trying find the right balance. Clare worked hard first half and emphasised their greater experience as they ran in eight tries to win by 55-3.
The first quarter was competitive with Dungannon’s defence doing well to keep Clare at bay. Twice Dungannon denied their opponents when they “held up” Clare when over the line. With only three of the squad over 20 Dungannon were seriously lacking in experience. This showed, especially in the third quarter when poor decision making caused panic that Clare capitalised on. That said there was plenty to give Jonny Wright comfort. This was an experience gaining game for five of the players with no previous experience of adult rugby.
At times Dungannon defended very well but on other occasions we were naive and paid the price
Clare’s man of the match, Mark Besant scored 25 of his side’s points including two quality tries from distance. For Dungannon Aaron Perry scored a well struck penalty just after half time.
Next week we entertain Harlequins IIs, the boys will have learned from today’s game; the experience will show that hard work on the training field will bear fruit on the playing field.
Team: Adam Roche. Andrew Lee, Aaron Nelson, Bradley Mulholland, Peter Lowe. Aaron Perry, Fergal Goan. Mark Douglas, Jamie McNeill, Matthew Stockdale. Mathew Calvert, Arek Mikolajczyk, Daniel Mikolajczyk, Joseph Cashel, Micah Anderson. Mark Willis, Dans Gulbis, Matthew Watt.
Referee: Graham Gibson.