Letterkenny 29 - 21 Coleraine
By Jalisco firstname.lastname@example.org
Hard fought match at Dave Gallagher Park
Team: Sat 23rd Feb 2019 v Coleraine
1. Mathew Duffy
2. Eoin Parkinson
3. Dan Geoghegan
4. Eoin Harris
5. Conor Smith
6. Finn Boyce
7. Jack Speer - Captain
8. Jynaid Reyes
9. Ben Hopkins
10. Kaymin Shortt
11. Tiernan McFadden
12. Brian McGettigan
13. Orrin Burgess
14. Leon Duffy
15. David Henry
Subs: Dylan Coyle, Alex McDermott, Odhrán Finn, Ewan Douglas, Calum Orsi, Finn Nicolas & Jayden Friel, also many others from the second Letterkenny team were togged out on the day.
Letterkenny took to the field playing from left to right and into the wind for the first half of what was to be an entertaining game of rugby for the last league match of the season, and Letterkenny’s hopes were high to maintain their unbeaten season.
Letterkenny got the match underway and Coleraine showed from the off that they were not just there to make up the numbers, the first 10 mins were a dogged affair with neither side willing to give an inch and both teams starting strongly with runs coming from both sides and big tackles coming in all over the field.
Much of the game is played between both 10 meter lines for the first 10 mins with neither team able to break the deadlock. Orrin Burgess is the first to break the line with a superb run of 20 meters, setting up the maul and Ben whips the ball out to Kaymin who with a long skip pass finds Tiernan on the wing who does well to hold up the ball and pops it back inside to a charging Mathew Duffy who crosses the white wash in the left corner for the games first try. On a very windy day Orrin’s conversion attempt falls short of the posts. 12 mins played [5-0].
Coleraine are unperturbed however and mount a great attack from the restart, They are awarded a scrum on the 22 which the successfully convert and get the ball out to their backs, but a powerfully tackle by Brian McGettigan halts them in their tracks, and wins a penalty from his efforts.
Orrin does another of his quick taps and he is of galloping again, however Coleraine continue their great display of tackling and halt the Letterkenny onslaught. Coeraine this time get a penalty on the halfway line and opt to use the wind and put the ball into the right corner for a linout. They win the lineout and get the ball out wide but Letterkenny hold fast for now. Coleraine win another linout this time in the left corner and again soar high to win possession which is fed to their outhalf who opts for a grubber through the gap which is chased down by their center who beats kaymin to the sprint for the line and they get their first well-earned try of the day under the posts. The conversion is good and with 9 mins left on the clock Coleraine have the advantage. [5-7].
Letterkenny from the kick off do well and manage to win a lineout of their own in the right corner, which they win and setup the maul, Conor Smyth stands off and makes his run and with a lovely pop pass takes the ball at full tilt and is impossible to stop 5 meters out and scores Letterkenny’s second in the right corner. Orrin takes a super conversion kick from out right and uses the wind beautifully to float the ball between the uprights. 5 mins left [12-7].
Coleraine’s kick of is carried over the deadball line from the restart and Letterkenny are awarded the scrum, which they win well with Jynaid picking from the number 8 spot and making 5 meters and setting up the maul. The ball is fed again to Orrin who makes another dash for the line leaving a stream of would be tacklers in his wake and scores in the right corner. The difficult conversion is missed this time and the ref blows for halftime. [17-7].
Sub: Leon Duffy makes way for Ewan Douglas.
Coleraine get the second half underway playing into the strong wind this time, and they win the possession and run the ball out the line but Brian McGettigan puts in another of his signature tackles and puts a halt to the early attack. But Coleraine are still fired up and continue to dominate the opening phases of the second half with another great break and looked sure to score but up steps David Henry who stops the certain try scorer in his tracks with a superb tackle.
Coleraine are awarded a scrum on the halfway line which they convert and run the ball out their backline and this time with some super passing put their winger away and he runs in under the posts. The conversion again is good and the score after 5 mins [17-14].
Coleraine again from the restart run the ball well and gain some vital ground pushing Letterkenny back into their own half again.
18 mins left of the clock and Letterkenny make another sub with Tiernan and Eoin Harris making way for Odhrán Finn and Finn Nicolas.
Letterkenny win a penalty which is again tapped quickly by Orrin who makes it to the Coleraine 22, He feeds Conor Smyth coming at pace and he crashes over to the left of the posts. Conversion is good, with 17 mins left [24-14]
Sub: Finn Boyce makes way for Jayden Friel.
Coleraine again from the restart show their resolve on the day and maintain the pressure with some more fine play, they push hard and from some loose play gather the ball and feed it out to their winger who with some fancy feet beats several would be tacklers and runs under the posts for their third on the day. Conversion is good and after 17 mins of play the score [24-21].
From the restart Coleraine knock on awarding Letterkenny a scrum on the 22, which is duly won and Ben feeds Kaymin who makes a break to his left and spots Orrin in space outside and with a super long pass puts the big center into the gap and he completes the move and scores in the left corner.
10 mins left score [29-21] after a missed conversion.
Coleraine win a scrum on the halfway line and feed the ball out right, however Jack Speer is quick to react and peels from the back of the scrum and flattens the outhalf, Jynaid follows up and wins a penalty for Letterkenny to relieve the pressure.
Sub with 10 mins left: Ben makes way for Dylan Coyle. Calum Orsi also replaces David Henry.
The final few mins of the game are hard fought by both teams with Letterkenny working hard to keep Coleraine at bay and Coleraine continuing to perform at a high level and put plenty of pressure on for the dying moments.
Letterkenny manage to hold out and complete their unbeaten season with a great cheer from the crowd.
Well done to a great team who worked hard all season and got the reward, and special thanks to the coaches for all their support throughout the year and of course to the parents who lend their support at every opportunity.
Credit to Coleraine must be added also for a dogged match in which they refused to go down without a fight.