Letterkenny Rampant on the Road
By Tony McBride
McLaughlin hat-trick part of 8 try demolition
Civil Service welcomed Letterkenny to their home grounds for their first game of 2019. Traveling with a strong squad, Letterkenny came under some early pressure from the home team. The Civil Service pack showed some nice handling skills in the opening stages of the game while their outhalf kept the traveling side pinned in their 22. Weathering the early storm though, Letterkenny manufactured a break through the carrying of Chris Green and Kevin McLaughlin. Service infringed at the breakdown and Letterkenny capitalized by sticking it in the corner and mauling it over the line. Chris Green the scorer. Letterkenny 5-0 Civil Service.
Shortly afterwards, Letterkenny were awarded the put in to a scrum. This was the first of many scrums during the day which the Letterkenny pack dominated. The penalty count continued to accumulate and before long, Letterkenny were over for their second try when Kevin McLaughlin nipped in in the corner. Letterkenny 10-0 Civil Service.
Letterkenny weren’t to have it all their own way however, as Service decided to up the intensity. Following some great offloading ability once more, Service found themselves in a great position just outside the Letterkenny 22. Their outhalf running a beautiful decoy line, allowed their outside Centre to break through the Kenny defence and score under the sticks. Civil Service 7-10 Letterkenny.
The remainder of the first half proved to be an arm wrestle as both teams jockeyed for position. Letterkenny however came good as McLaughlin got over for his second score of the game. HT Civil Service 7-15 Letterkenny.
Following the break Ciaran Clarke got the scoring underway and secured Letterkenny’s bonus point when he was put through a gap by outhalf Darragh McConnell. Brian McGinley managed to find his kicking boots and this time converted the score to leave Letterkenny with a 15 point lead.
Civil Service to their credit fought extremely hard to keep themselves in the game and were unlucky to lose key players through injury. Letterkenny meanwhile were finding their rhythm and growing in confidence through and inspired performance from Kevin McLaughlin.
The second half proved to be one way traffic and further scores for the traveling side ensued. Brian McGinley got over for a brace of tries, the pick of which was an intercept from his own 22. The Downings man who had run Service ragged all day showed supreme fitness to score the try and although he left a few points behind him off the tee, McGinley proved his worth once again with a solid display at the back.
Before the full time whistle, Kevin McLaughlin capped off a memorable display with his third try of the day. In summary this was one of Letterkenny’s best performances all season and once more it came through the dominance of the pack. Letterkenny’s next game is at home to Belfast Highschool next Saturday 19th of Jan.