Belfast Harlequins’ double dreams were dashed at Ravenhill on Friday night as Dungannon swept to a 27-10 victory in the 2006/07 First Trust Ulster Senior Cup final.
2006/07 FIRST TRUST ULSTER SENIOR CUP FINAL: Friday, May 4
BELFAST HARLEQUINS 10 DUNGANNON 27, Ravenhill
Scorers: Belfast Harlequins: Try: Darren Cave; Con: Keith Pyper; Pen: Keith Pyper
Dungannon: Tries: Andy Kirkpatrick, Neville Magee; Con: Mark Scott; Pens: Mark Scott 5
‘Gannon’s win was quite a significant one as it was the first silverware collected during Jeremy Davidson’s reign as coach and also the club’s first Ulster Senior Cup title since 2002.
It caps off a very satisfying for the Tyrone club, with their first team also winning the Jack Kyle Cup, the seconds won their respective league, the thirds completed the trabel by winning the Junior League Section One, the Crawford Cup and the Harden Cup, while the fourths claimed the Guinness Minor League South Section title, and the Beatty Cup is also currently residing at Stevenson Park.
Following on from their recent Ulster Senior League win over the same opposition, Harlequins made a good start and were only just held up over the try line as their forwards threatened to make an early breakthrough.
But ‘Gannon hit the front in the 12th-minute when Keith Pyper was pinged for a ruck offence and Mark Scott, a former Harlequins Under-20 player, sent the resulting penalty through the posts.
Scott followed up with his second penalty after Glen Telford had been hit with a high tackle from ‘Quins captain Colin Atkinson, and Scott raised the touch judges’ flags again on 32 minutes with his third place kick.
Dungannon, who lost captain Paul Magee to an early shoulder injury, then worked replacement centre Andy Kirkpatrick over for a converted try. The move began with scrum half James Bates breaking clear, back rowers Stuart Lamb and Oisin Hennessy also carried forward before ‘Quins managed to snaffle back possession.
However, Dungannon soon won the ball back at a ‘Quins lineout and Kirkpatrick was sent jinking over in the 38th-minute for Scott to convert and hand the Tyrone men a 16-0 lead.
‘Quins desperately needed a try before the break and they got one of the highest class from Ireland Under-20 star Darren Cave. The Ulster Senior League champions launched a brilliant attack through Rory Blake-Knox, full-back Mark Kettyle timed his run perfectly, coming in on a great angle to bring his side deeping into ‘Gannon territory and his blind pass was gobbled up by centre Cave who romped over under the posts.
The score was worth the admission fee alone and Pyper’s conversion cut the deficit for Andy Ward’s men to nine points.
Pyper slotted over the second half’s opening points, landing a 58th-minute penalty, to cut ‘Gannon’s lead to 16-10, however penalties from the on-song Scott – in the 62nd and 75th minutes – beefed up his side’s lead again.
Their victory was sealed in injury-time when lock Neville Magee touched down after drives at the line from close range from Chris Knipe and Lamb, who claimed the man of the match award.
BELFAST HARLEQUINS: Mark Ketttyle; Johnny Lowe, Darren Cave, Keith Pyper, Simon Rea; Rory Blake-Knox, Roger Kirkwood; Niall Conlon, Stuart Philpott, Alan Rankin, Gareth Rourke, Graham Jewhurst, Andy Ward, Colin Atkinson (capt), Andrew Gillespie.
Replacements used: David Creighton for Kirkwood (45 mins), Stephen Robinson for Gillespie (64), Gavin McLaughlin for Kettyle (78). Not used: Johnny Morgan, Ben Hanvey.
DUNGANNON: John McGuckin; Neil Patterson, Paul Magee (capt), Glen Telford, Mark Scott; Mel Ferry, James Bates; Mark Neilly, Ciaran O’Kane, Glen Sinnamon, Simon McCarroll, Neville Magee, Andy Hughes, Oisin Hennessy, Stuart Lamb.
Replacements used: David Spence for Bates (13-30, blood sub, 61), Andy Kirkpatrick for P Magee (24), Colin Reynolds for Sinnamon (30-35, blood sub), Chris Knipe for O’Kane (62), Michael Rainey for N Magee (80+2). Not used: Liam Currie.
Referee: Marshall Kilgore (Ulster)