Monaghan Seconds 15
Lurgan Seconds 0
Lurgan Seconds played this tricky away game with only 14 players and in driving rain on a water logged pitch but after going behind to an early try they recovered to win comfortably.
The home side seized the initiative to score a try after five minutes with their centres and large pack barging over for an unconverted try.
That poor start continued when after kicking away possession Lurgan found themselves two scores behind.
Coach Jason Wallace spotted the issue and re organised his midfield bringing in the rock solid Dawid Stanczak from the wing to centre and allowing make shift centre big Desron to move back into the pack.
Lurgan slowly started to exert pressure of their own and after having had no possession for the first 15 minutes they got the ball in hand and started carrying the ball at the Monaghan defence, Jonny Goode and Jason Kane in particular carried well all day and it was Kane who barged over for Lurgan’s first try after dropping the ball on the line minutes earlier. Jordan McIlwaine converted continuing his fine kicking form this season.
With the visitors sensing that Monaghan were already tiring Drew Davis chipped a clever kick behind the defence for Jordan McIlwaine to chase. What then unfolded was a quite unique try that none of the players or spectators are likely to witness again, McIlwaine spotting the ball was drifting towards touch leapt fully five feet in the air and headed the ball over the Monaghan winger, regained his balance scooped up the wet ball without breaking his stride and scored beneath the posts as Monaghan stared in disbelief. A remarkable score which he then converted, Monaghan 12 Lurgan 14.
Lurgan turned the screw for the remainder of the half but handling errors and a few loose kicks allowed Monaghan to stay in touch and before half time they added a penalty of their own to go 15-14.
With only a minute of the half to play the impressive Mathew Jonstone scythed through the Monaghan mid field to score after the forwards who’d been busy in the dreadful conditions had secured some quick possession. Half time Monaghan 15 Lurgan 21.
From the re start Lurgan secured possession and after several scrums and a bit of old fashioned forward play Jonstone kicked the ball deep into Monaghans 22, their poor clearance gave Lurgan an attacking line out.
In driving rain the Lurgan men made a brave call to throw to the back of the line over the Monaghan defensive jumpers and from the ensuing driving maul Jonny Goode barged over taking three defenders with him.
Lurgan then lost Drew Davis to an ankle injury and that left them with only 13 players.
After another piece of forwards play with several players carrying and mauling Andy Macky the veteran prop ran an exquisite line to score a try of the highest standard without one defender laying a hand on the big man. McIlwaine converted to leave the scores Monaghan 15 Lurgan 33.
Lurgan were unlucky to the loose Jonny Goode to an unfortunate yellow card. With only 12 men left on the park Lurgan could have been forgiven if they’d conceded a score or two however quite the reverse happened.
Mathew Jonstone went on an arcing run and after a clever inter change with Stanczac and Watson he scored his second of the day.
The forwards were excellent in the set piece and loose and Mcilwaine was consistent as always but man of the match went to the Lurgan out half Mathew Jonstone for a brilliant attacking and defensive display.