Dungannon held a two point lead for most of the second half before claiming a sealing try two minutes into injury time in this closely contested and exciting Towns Cup clash with Bangor. A total of 7 tries were scored in the opening half which left Dungannon leading 22-17 at the break.
Conditions at Stevenson Park were excellent for a running game and both sides obliged. Errors thwarted chances in the early stages before a cleverly angled kick per Gareth McGonigle was neatly collected by winger, Andrew Lee who wasted no time in darting in at the corner on seven minutes. The conversion was missed but it was a good start for the hosts. Gannon were thriving on pinched lineouts at this stage but Bangor settled and a sudden riposte soon brought a try for winger, Ned Stewart on 13 minutes to make it 5-5. Adam Roche took a flying catch at the restart but a later ‘knock on’ ruined a chance. Back came Bangor and while driving close to the Dungannon line the hosts lost a prop to the ‘sin bin’. It looked like a chance for Bangor to take advantage and that they did running the ball left for Jamie Mendez to touch down. Out-half, Gareth Miller converted and the visitors had a first time lead after 26 minutes. Now it was Gannon’s turn to attack with Jamie McNeill and James Gamble to the fore put pressure on the Bangor line. Good defence kept them out and when McGonigle moved the ball wide Lee raced away to complete his brace on the half hour. Bangor still held a 2 point advantage but that was increased when Miller danced his way through some poor tackling to make it 10-17 three minutes later. The return of Ross Stewart was timely as he helped the home side to retake the lead in an exciting finish to the half. First up it was Stephen Todd who touched down following a lineout drive before Bradley Mulholland scythed open the Bangor defence on 40 minutes. His try was converted by Adam Evans and the half ended 22-17.
Bangor started the second half on the front foot scoring via a Miller penalty on 41 minutes. However, attack turned to defence in the second half and the contest turned into a midfield battle. Dungannon tried hard to get a little comfort on the scoreboard but were denied by errors. Mulholland did go close but was bundled into touch on the hour mark. The hosts then held on to the 2 point advantage for all of the final quarter during which Bangor lost their hooker via a yellow card. Going into injury time Bangor tried one final run with the ball but an unfortunate spillage cost them dearly as the alert Jack Ravey kicked through to score a try that Evans converted to leave the final score at 29-20. Team manager, Timmy Smith was delighted with the result but admitted the second half seemed long, holding a mere 2 point lead.
Dungannon:- Caolan Mulgrew, Adam Roche, Peter Cashel, Brad Mulholland, Andrew Lee, Gareth McGonigle, Adam Evans, Ross Stewart, Jamie McNeill, James Gamble, Matthew Calvert, Joseph Cashel, Stephen Todd, Peter Doran, Conor Hall, Matthew Stockdale, Jack Ravey.