Letterkenny U18s prove too good for Finn Valley
Despite playing with 13 after injuries Letterkenny come good in local derby
14 Man Letterkenny U18s away to Finn Valley
Letterkenny U18s travelled to Ballybofey this weekend. Only a short journey to meet their local rivals Finn Valley, in this derby day clash. The wet conditions were making it perfect for a game to be played in the pack. Letterkenny chose to play with the strong wind in the first half. This played out to be a great advantage for them as kicks from Rory MacGinty and Oran McGonagle kept Finn Valley in their own 22. After a few scrappy plays the ref awarded Letterkenny a scrum on the opposition 22. After a big push from the forwards scrum half MacGinty sniped down the blindside and slid into the corner for the first try. Conditions made it too tricky for McGonagle to slot the conversion. After the restart Letterkenny looked like they would go on to score more points, however Finn Valley kept them out for a while. Until a soft penalty was given away. MacGinty took full use of the quick tap and ended up scoring under the posts. McGonagle this time adding the extras. Finn Valley knew they would have to improve their performance if they wanted to stay in the game, and that’s what they did. After 10 minutes of relentless attack from their big forwards pack they eventually got over the line for their first score. The Letterkenny men held up well phase after phase, but eventually, brute strength got Finn Valley over the line. They got the whole 7 points as it was an easy kick for the fly half. With the half almost over, no one thought the score would change. However after another self inflicted error by Finn Valley, Jack Smith had a big carry to get Letterkenny 5 metres away from the opposition try line. After a few phases Smith got the ball again and crashed over to score Letterkenny’s third try before the break. McGonagle’s added the extras again.
Half Time Score : Letterkenny 19 Finn Valley 7
The second half looked like it would start off difficult for Letterkenny, they had lost a player at halftime and were now down to 13 men. This would be a half of great defence from the 13 players. However after a unplanned restart from McGonagle Letterkenny got a scrum five metres out from the Finn Valley try-line. A great effort from Luke McKeever in the front row gave Letterkenny the ball on a plate to play with. Again Finn Valley’s defence was strong enough to hold them out. Until big Stephen Kelly barrelled through a few of the opposition players and crashed over the whitewash. This time the wind thwarted McGonagle’s effort at goal. After this try the half took a turn for the worse for Letterkenny. The 13 men were doing their best to cover up space that 15 Finn Valley men were using to their advantage. They put in hit after hit keeping their gain line secured. Tempers flared after some big hits, but nothing evolved out of it, as both sets of players just wanted to play rugby. Towards the end of the game Finn Valley managed to sneak over after having a 2 man overlap on the wing. Just tightening the scores a bit, but it was too late at this stage. The Letterkenny men put in a bruising performance with big efforts from Dean Callan, Keenan Barrett and Lochlann O’Dea.
Full Time Score : Letterkenny 24 Finn Valley 12