Lurgan fell to a 24-7 home defeat against Limavady in their most challenging match this year.
Despite Lurgan’s gallant performance, it was the Limavady side, willing to take risks, that won in the end.
From the first minute Lurgan kept much of the possession and dominated physically in scrimmaging and rucking.
Lurgan were aggressive and determined to gain any advantage over the opposite side. Dylan Gill at number 10, thanks to his good decision making, created number of opportunities for Lurgan to score, but they lacked the finishing touch to secure the points.
Lurgan’s defence was solid, but Limavady was ferocious in attack and they eventually breached Lurgan’s tight defensive line.
Lurgan put their bodies on the line and really worked hard to move from one ruck to another. Josh Greer, Neil Adamson, Chris Cassidy and Graham Curry put in some crunching tackles on the Limavady runners although they played the ball wide giving it out to their wings or kicked the ball over to put pressure on the back line.
Fortunately vigilant Ryan Mooney, Stephen Nolan and Andrew Stevenson were there to cover the wings and the back line.
Lurgan’s Richard Shilliday and Michael Campbell carried the ball strongly throughout the match, gaining vital yards and making space for centres to break through Limavady defence.
A few quick passes from Chris Jenks and Gill, and blistering pace from Ben McIlwaine together with Chris Wamsley helped break through but Limavady’s backline reacted quickly when Lurgan centres made a break, allowing their forwards to reorganise and turn over the ball in the rucks.
In the second half fleet-footed Ryan Mooney came close to scoring a try, but the pass delivered by Shilliday went forward. Minutes after Chris Jenks found himself under the posts with the ball pressed to the ground, but the referee gave Limavady the benefit of the doubt calling the ball was held-up. Lurgan did not get discouraged and kept playing their game.
With only a few minutes left Limavady’s left winger was taken off due to head injury. Lurgan took the opportunity to finally gain some points as captain Dean Wilson crashed through scoring under the posts.
In the end, not enough, but Lurgan put in a good performance.
Lurgan’s next challenge is against Enniskillen in a cup game.