Lurgan Firsts produced an excellent performance last Saturday to defeat Donegal 31-3.
Lurgan did well to play in dismal conditions on a pitch with poor footing and water lying in some areas with gale winds and sleet one minute, then sunny and calm the next.
Playing into the wind in the first half Lurgan’s catching and passing skills were tested, but they kept up the tempo whilst maintaining continuity and possession.
Lurgan’s set piece went well, they continually won good quality ball at lineout and scrum, while disrupting Donegal’s play.
In the first 30 minutes young Nail Greene stole four of the opposition’s lineout throws, although a number of driven lineouts should have resulted in tries had it not been for poor cohesion and composure at times.
Nonetheless, by half time Lurgan were in the lead 12-3 controlling the game. Dominating field position in the second half Lurgan pinned Donegal inside their own third for the large majority of the half. Donegal lacked the ability to score from their own half, though they never gave up and run hard lines at Lurgan for the entire second half.
Lurgan patiently awaited their opportunities to score tries, they played to their strength and exploited Donegal’s mistakes.
Overall, it was a good performance by both teams considering the conditions.
This win was a major confidence boost to the team but upcoming games against PSNI and Larne will provide a sterner test for the players and the club as a whole.
More consistency in players training over the next four weeks is crucial to the team’s success.
Tries came from Stephen Nolan, Mike Campbell, Ben McIlwaine, Dean Wilson and Dillon Gill. The highlight of the match came when captain Stephen Nolan scored a try with anoverhead kick, then catching the ball in mid-flight, and then strolling over the line. Mike Campbell scored another superb solo try after a burst from the halfway line.