There was a close encounter at sun splashed Stevenson Park on Saturday when visitors, Randalstown ran out 15-14 winners courtesy of a late drop goal. That gave the visitors the spoils in a game that could have gone either way.
Dungannon started brightly with some good running in the backline as Eddie Conroy and Matthew Rodgers kept the ball moving. An early try looked likely but the final pass was adjudged forward. Randalstown began to settle though and after a period of pressure Chris McGoldrick charged over for Ben McKnight to convert on 10 minutes. Five minutes later the sides were level when Paul Magee squeezed over at the posts with Rodgers adding the extras. Randalstown bounced back but a penalty chance was missed. The visitors then applied pressure close to the line but the pack was pinged at the set scrum. Dungannon cleared the danger and at the other end Magee and Andrew Mills tested the visitors’ defence. Closer to the break the hosts suffered a setback when Conroy was sent to the ‘bin’ for an illegal tackle. Randalstown tried to take advantage but the hosts held on and the score stood 7-7 at the break.
Neil McGinley made a break early in the second half but a turnover saw his opposite number go on a counter attack. That led to some good inter passing before winger, Ben Winter touched down to give Randalstown back the lead at 7-12 on 48 minutes. Dungannon hit back and when a long pass was directed to the left wing, Andrew Creaney did well in his flight to the danger zone. When stopped he chipped the ball through to ‘in goal’ for fullback, Craig Gibson to score. Rodgers added the difficult conversion and Gannon went back in front at the end of the third quarter. At 14-12 the game was still wide open. Dungannon had chances to seal the issue before Randalstown laid siege to the Gannon line. Penalty offers were spurned in favour of the try line before visiting fullback, Thomas McLaughlin decided on a drop goal on the 77th minute. His strike was accurate ensuring his team of a win by the narrowest of margins.
Dungannon Team:- C Gibson, S Maxwell, A Mills, P Magee, A Creaney, M Rodgers, E Conroy, D Morrison, Neil McGinley, J McKee, C Cullen, A Mikolajczyk, B Stewart, A Cummings, D Gulbis, S Sersenis, H Hobson.