Clogher Valley 59
The Valley were simply to strong for visitors Limavady in this first round match of the Towns Cup. It took only three minutes for the home side to register the first score.
A Holme penalty to the corner was rewarded with an excellent take and drive, B J Wilson emerging from the bottom of the ruck to claim the opening try. Holme added the touchline conversion.
In the next twenty minutes Limavady produced their best form and really took it to Clogher. The game became a mid-field battle, no quarter asked or given.
Gradually though The Valley front eight started to gain the upper hand and encamped themselves deep in the visitors half. Hooker Cobane had to retire with a rib injury which is a worry considering the schedule ahead. The versatile Falconer left the bench to pack down in the backrow while Bennett who started at No 8 returned to his more familiar surroundings of the front row.
Clogher had a huge advantage at scrum time and were really putting the squeeze on Limavady. A series of scrums saw the visitors in full retreat before the referee spared their blushes and awarded a penalty try which Holme duly goaled.
Within minutes of the restart Limavady ran out of front row cover and the dreaded non contested rule was introduced. Not for the first time this season Clogher had to switch to plan B which they are growing more confident with as the season progresses. A great strike from deep resulted in Donaldson breaking the line, a clever chip ahead caused sufficient confusion in the rear guard to allow Holme to gather up and dive over for the third try. He then added the conversion to complete the first half scoring.
The second half was seconds old when prop Bennett stormed 30 metres through the visitors defence for a great try which Holme duly goaled. Twenty eight points adrift it was all over for the spirited visitors.
The onslaught was to continue. Treanor made a good line break before offloading to Primrose. The young prop returning after several months on the touchline was not to be denied racing away for an excellent score and again Holme added the extras. At this stage with hooker Cobane side lined Clogher were playing with three props. Not to be denied Cloghers most capped prop Moore got in on the act.
Capitalising on a poor Limavady lineout he barged over with half the visiting pack on his back. He said. Holmes kick drifted narrowly wide spoiling his, up to that, faultless kicking display.
Returning to the offensive Ryan Wilson rounded off the best score of the day. Countless phases and great support play stretched the beleaguered visitors all over the park before they ran out of bodies allowing the No 8. to cross for a well worked team try. Holme was back on target adding the conversion.
There was to be no respite for Limavady. Their restart was fielded by winger Stafford, He cleverly spun out of the chasers tackle and all of a sudden he was in the clear. Sixty metres later he touched down under the posts giving Holme his easiest conversion of the day.
Substitute Trenier completed the scoring after another well constructed passage of play. With ten minutes left and the result beyond doubt the referee called proceedings to an early conclusion.
Clogher have scored 150 points in their last two games. It will not be repeated over the next two. First up is the visit of high flying Bangor.
The seasiders edged the result earlier in the season. Clogher are in a better place now and are determined to succeed in this ‘ must win encounter’ but it will not be easy. Then it is the visit to Portadown where the title could be won or lost. That with a second round towns cup game to come and the All Ireland Junior Final it will be a hectic four weeks of rugby.