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Match Report: Lurgan 1XV v Donaghadee 1XV - 03.02.2023

Match Report: Lurgan 1XV v Donaghadee 1XV - 03.02.2023

Mark Poole7 Feb - 18:47
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Dee lose out to league leaders

Match report by Geoff Ingham

Donaghadee travelled to Pollock Park to play Lurgan on Saturday for a Championship 2 League game. They went there in hope rather than expectation as this was a clash between the top and bottom teams in the league. With a handful of usual starters in Marseille to cheer on the Ireland team there were, yet again, several changes to Dee’s lineup.

Adam Proctor started in the front row, allowing Sam Moore to move back to the second row and Daniel Onstwedder, Matthew Stockton and Sam Ingham made up the back row. Mark Cooper started at outhalf this week, with Pete Callaghan and Davy Kirkpatrick forming the centre partnership. A brace of Millers started on the bench, Paul covering the forwards and Graham covering the backs. Weather conditions were good throughout the game, albeit the playing surface was slightly moist due to the overnight drizzle.

Dee started the game brightly and put some good phases together but were unable to turn any opportunities into points. However, after 12 minutes, with a move straight from the training ground, Lurgan scored in the corner. The difficult conversion was successful to make the score 7-0. Five minutes later Lurgan doubled their lead when a strong run by the Lurgan winger created another chance which was well executed. On the half hour mark Dee were reduced to fourteen men when a Dee forward was sinbinned for a deliberate knock on. Lurgan took advantage of this numerical disparity almost immediately when another well worked move resulted in a score under the posts. Before the end of the half the Dee injury jinx struck again as Danny McBride, Sam Ingham and Davy Kirkpatrick all had to leave the field with the latter having to be stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle.
Lurgan scored again in the last play of the half to push the score to 28-0 at the interval.

Although now playing with fourteen men, this Dee team did not let their heads drop in the second half. Indeed, for long periods of the half they enjoyed the majority of possession and territory. Some great defensive work from the likes of Ethan O’Byrne, Sam Moore, Matthew Stockton and Daniel Onstwedder kept Lurgan out on several occasions. Adam Proctor and Ray Dobson were working hard holding up the Dee scrum and Robbie Ingham was feeding his backline with quick ball. Sam Hyland, as usual, looked threatening every time he got the ball. However, due to Lurgan’s excellent defence, coupled with some white line fever from the Dee, no scores were forthcoming. Frustratingly for the Dee Lurgan did manage to score a couple of tries during this period by capitalising on having the extra man and in scored a final try in the last play of the game to leave the final score 45-0 to the league leaders.

Another difficult day for the Dee but some good performances on the day. Special mention must go to clubman Graham Miller who answered a late call to take a place on the bench and ended up playing for almost an hour of the game. Also to Ethan O’Byrne, who had an outstanding game and best wishes to him and Sam Hyland as they return home next week. However, man-of-the-match this week goes to young Daniel Onstwedder who topped the tackle count for the Dee and was excellent throughout. The Dee return to action on the 17th February when they welcome Academy to Donaldson Park, k.o.2.30pm.

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