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Dungannon Dent ‘Rock’s Play-Off Bid

Dungannon Dent ‘Rock’s Play-Off Bid

Dungannon scored a shock win over play-off chasing Blackrock on Saturday, with Ulster hooker Nigel Brady helping himself to two tries in an entertaining encounter at Stevenson Park.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, April 11

DUNGANNON 22 BLACKROCK COLLEGE 14, Stevenson Park

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Scorers: Dungannon: Tries: Richard McCarter, Nigel Brady 2; Cons: Richard McCarter 2; Pen: Richard McCarter
Blackrock College: Try: Shane Monahan; Pens: Kyle Tonetti 3

Nigel Brady and his fellow Ulster-capped front rower Declan Fitzpatrick bolstered the Dungannon starting line-up and the Tyrone side came good as they put in one of their best performances of the season.

‘Rock travelled north of a back of a fine win over defending Division One champions Cork Constitution but Dungannon set the early pace and out-half Richard McCarter kicked a penalty and bagged a 19th-minute try for an 8-0 lead.

Ireland Sevens international Kyle Tonetti settled the visitors with a penalty three minutes later, and ‘Rock’s speedy backs then created the space for big winger Shane Monahan to touch down on the half-hour.

Monahan’s 12th try of the league campaign should have been the spur for the Dubliners to pile on the pressure and confirm just why they are in semi-final contention.

But it was the home side who looked more like a top-four outfit on the resumption. Two minutes in and Brady was able to power over under the posts after ‘Rock’s lacklustre defence around the fringes had been exposed.

McCarter’s conversion sent his side 15-8 ahead and while Tonetti cracked over two more penalties to make it a one-point game, Brady delivered the knockout blow on 62 minutes when he forced his way over from close range once again.

McCarter’s conversion was the final scoring act of the game. However, there were still some scoring chances.

The Dungannon forwards felt aggrieved when the referee penalised them for their binding on the tighthead side as they went for a late pushover try which would have yielded them a bonus point.

Monahan was also tackled into touch just short of the ‘Gannon try-line as he tried to sniff out a late score.

The win means Dungannon’s top flight status is secured and they will be competing in the restructured Division One Section B next season.

Meanwhile, ‘Rock, now down in seventh place, will need a five-pointer at home to UL Bohemians next Saturday to stand any chance of reaching the play-offs.