Victory for Strabane RFC over local rivals.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Victory for Strabane RFC over local rivals. thumbnail Strabane and Lettkenny face off at the scrum.

DESPITE contrasting league positions at the start of the season, Paul O'Kane and his Strabane squad were under no illusions about the challenge ahead when facing local rivals Letterkenny on Saturday.


Early pressure by Strabane led to a five metre scrum; Hamilton, Smyth and Flanagan forced their opponents onto the back foot, while number eight Chris Robinson showed his footballing skills controlling the ball at the base.

The referee deemed Letterkenny to have illegally collapsed the Strabane drive and made his way under the posts to award a penalty try, giving the hosts the perfect start.

A Letterkenny penalty was converted to bring the score to 7-3, while the visitors continued to attack the Strabane line. Flanker Peter Browne won possession back with vital turnover and Letterkenny retreated expecting the ball to be cleared up the pitch for a lineout.

Quick thinking center, Phil Duffy, spotted the opportunity from the defensive lapse and darted through a narrow gap to sprint the length of the pitch for a try, with full back Ruairi Lynch adding the extras.

An attempted Letterkenny tackle led to two team mates clashing heads, causing lengthy delay to the first half. Thankfully both players were able to continue, having been patched up.

Another injury saw last week's man of the match, Andy Baird having to leave the field with a shoulder problem.

Following some good work by Nathan Cummings, center James Perry found space and linked with debutant Colin Campbell, who beat his man to score in the corner.

Lynch slotted the difficult touchline conversion to make it 21-3 to Strabane.

With the bonus point in sight, scrum half Davy Craig lifted the tempo of play and fed Steven Torrens, who went on one of his trademark runs, breaking through two tackles and sprinting around the full back to seal the five points.

Out half Ali Ferguson added the conversion, however the scoring wasn't finished as Letterkenny came back with a consolation try to make it 28-10 at the final whistle.

While Strabane will be disappointed with some aspects of play and feel there is room for improvement, there was also plenty of positives to take from the performance, overcoming a physical and well organised Letterkenny side.


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