Dungannon’s hopes of building on the fine win the previous week fell well short of the mark at Corinthian Park on Saturday afternoon. Corinthians, bolstered by several Connacht academy players, proved to have the better cutting edge winning the game on a 5-2 try tally. Despite the defeat the spirit of the game looked safe until deep in injury time when a touch judge flagged up Alex Gormley for alleged foul play. That resulted in a red card just as the final whistle blew. The Dungannon party was shocked and their anger means the decision will be contested.
Dungannon started well and from broken play Matthew Montgomery chipped and chased from well inside his own half to score at the posts with John Russell converting. Corinthians were quick to respond and scored two tries in the space of five minutes through Dan Trayers and Daniel Keane with Conor Dean, son of former Irish International Paul, converting the latter. When Dungannon were caught offside the same player increased their lead to 15-7 with an easy kick in front of the posts, just outside the 22 metre line.
A Dungannon penalty brought play close to the home line and from the line out a great forward drive put Daniel Maxwell over the line, with Russell again adding the conversion. Forward exchanges were fairly even throughout the game, but on the half hour the visitors’ scrum was pinged and Dean had no problem adding the points from the same position as before.
On half time a Cathal Evans try in the corner was converted by Dean giving the hosts a 25-14 lead.
It was already clear that the Corinthian handling was sharper than that of their opponents. In contrast the Dungannon handling was poor at times and it was from such an error inside their own 22 that possession was handed to the home side for Michael O’Reilly to score an unconverted try. That gave the hosts a try bonus and there was no way back for Dungannon at 30-14.
Much of the second half was played around the Dungannon 22 but one break out by Peter Cashel and then Stephen Todd led to nothing. Again, a forward drive saw Lewis McCrabbe stopped just short of the line. Corinthians completed their scoring with a final try and again Dean converted leaving the final score 37-14. The visitors had a final flourish but the ball was spilled in contact just short of the line which pretty well summed Dungannon’s day.
A very disappointing day all round compounded by the red card but on the brighter side a much improved line out performance. Next up is another Connacht side, Galwegians at Stevenson Park in 2 weeks time.
Dungannon:- Harrison Dudley-Rode, Matthew Montgomery, Mark Faloon, Chris Cousens, Peter Cashel, Adam Evans, John Russell, Glenn Sinnamon, Daniel Maxwell, James Gamble, Stephen Todd, Lewis McCrabbe, David Leyburn (capt), Mark Riddell, Alex Gormley, Malcolm Allister, Sean O’Hagan, Johnny Toal, Jack Ravey, Jordan McIlwaine.
The full list of Division 2B results is as follows:-
Blackrock 12 Wanderers 12
Corinthians 37 Dungannon 14
Galwegians 36 Ballina 12
Greystones 19 Sligo 20
Malahide 26 Harlequins 10