Clogher Valley 38
Valley returned to winning ways on Saturday with a comprehensive six try victory over Dromore at the Cran.
Despite four enforced changes and two positional changes Valley were always the better side against a depleted Dromore side.
However Dromore did not make it easy for Valley who had to eke out every point from a stubborn and well organised defensive display by the visitors.
Valley started well and were quickly on the attack when a break from out half Armstrong took play to the Dromore 22.
Though a long distance penalty was missed Valley quickly returned to the attack and after good recycling were awarded a penalty under the posts. However Valley went for the scrum showing their confidence. A further penalty resulted in a Dromore yellow card and again Valley took the scrum. Though they were stopped several times by the Dromore defence eventually centre Falconer went over for the opening score.
From the restart Valley returned to the Dromore 22 but although winning a surfeit of possession some poor decision making and the Dromore defence kept them at bay. Valley were dominating and when Dromore lost a scrum against the head it allowed No 8 Ryan Wilson to gain 30 metres to win another Valley penalty under the posts. Again they went to the scrum and after a succession of drives flanker Sharkey, in his first game back after injury, went over from close range. Armstrong added the points and Valley led 12-0 after nineteen minutes.
The game then became very disjointed with injuries and mistakes. From a Valley mistake in midfield Dromore showed they were still a threat when they exploited a gap in the Valley defence from half way and they scored an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 12-5 at half time.
Valley upped the tempo at the start of the second half and were quickly on the attack. Another penalty was kicked to touch and from the resultant catch and drive hooker Cobane went over for a try converted by Armstrong and a 19-5 Valley lead after 47 minutes.
Valley attacks were unremitting and Dromore were struggling to hang on. Valley disrupted another Dromore scum and flanker Clarke scragged the Dromore no 8 and forced a knock on deep in the Dromore 22.
From the scrum Wilson went for the line but when he was stopped Clarke recovered the ball and dived over for a try, on his debut, and the Valley bonus point.
There was a long stoppage for a Dromore injury but when the game restarted Valley were quickly back on the attack and after good recycling prop Primrose went over for a try, converted by Armstrong, and a 31-5 Valley lead.
Even then Valley were not finished and in the closing minutes scored the best try of the game. Running the ball from their own ten yard line Donaldson and Dunlop combined with a slick interchange of passes all the way to the Dromore 22.
The final inside pass to Armstrong was superb and he scored easily and then converted to leave Valley running out winners 38-5.
Valley introduced two new players in Agnew and Clarke who both had good games. Primrose and Dunlop were outstanding throughout but man of the match went to second row McKenna whose work rate and influence on the game was immense throughout.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition