Under-19’s have the edge in close match

LURGAN U19’s got their new season off to the best possible start on Wednesday night with an excellent 20-19 win against Banbridge.

Immediately from the kick off Lurgan dominated the tight exchanges with Josh Greer, Pete Burke and Paddy McVey to the fore. This domination was rewarded with a penalty which was converted by Matthew Johnston to give Lurgan a 3-0 lead. This lead, however, was short lived as a lapse in concentration allowed Banbridge to turnover possession and score a converted try through their dangerous backline.

From the resulting re-start Lurgan responded immediately with another Johnston penalty to bring the score to 6-7.

The Lurgan pack, driven on by the industrious Dillon Gill, continued to dominate the set pieces and it was from a good solid scrum Lurgan regained the lead. Matthew McCormick picked up from the base of the scrum and after making good ground, popped the ball to the supporting Dean Wilson, who in turn managed to offload out of the tackle to Daniel Cairns to score a great try in the corner. Johnston confidently converted from the touchline to give Lurgan a 13-7 lead.

For the remainder of the first half, Lurgan continued to dominate both the tight and loose exchanges, and were soon rewarded with a second try. After good continuity between backs and forwards, man of the match Gill broke through the Banbridge defence to score a great individual try. Johnston again added the conversion to give Lurgan a commanding 20-7 half time lead.

The second half continued in the same pattern as the first, with Lurgan applying concerted pressure on the Banbridge defensive line. Despite this dominance, however, a simple mistake allowed Banbridge to intercept the ball and break to score another converted try to bring the score to 20-14.

Lurgans continual failure to turn pressure into points almost cost them the game, and after another unforced error Banbridge reduced Lurgans lead to a single point when they scored a third try. Fortunately for Lurgan the conversion was missed to leave the final score 20-19 in favour of Lurgan.