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Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Review

Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Review

Only two fixtures survived another rain-hit Saturday in Ulster Bank League Division 2B, with in-form Sunday’s Well securing their sixth straight win at home to Dungannon and it was back-to-back victories for Greystones against their Leinster rivals Bective Rangers.

The matches at MU Barnhall, Rainey Old Boys and Seapoint were all called off due to the adverse weather conditions – they will now take place next month. There is one outstanding game before the Christmas break as leaders City of Derry host Rainey in a local derby next Saturday.

A weather-beaten round 10 saw Sunday’s Well grind out a 9-6 victory over Dungannon on a heavy pitch at Mahon, moving up to fourth place in the process. The Irish Independent Park pitch was deemed unplayable, so Mahon got to host its first ever Ulster Bank League clash.

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The ‘Well stole a march on the Tyrone men, whose bus arrived late and pushed the kick-off back slightly. A high tackle on Cyprien Jouve saw out-half Shane O’Riordan open the scoring and his second successful penalty soon followed.

But, in worsening conditions, the Dungannon pack enjoyed a purple patch approaching half-time. They made a number of strong carries, continually getting over the gain-line and full-back Paul Armstrong drilled over two penalty goals to bring his side level at 6-all.

Similarly to the first half, the ‘Well opened up in impressive fashion on the resumption. Replacements Eoin Geary, Sean Desmond and Colm Skehan all made an impact and O’Riordan split the posts with the second of two penalty opportunities, rewarding a solid home scrum.

Dungannon dug deep in their attempts to respond, looking to win the territorial battle during a tight closing quarter, but their Cork opponents produced some big hits – front row brothers Francis and Michael Moynihan in particular – and a terrific block down from captain Kieran Stokes forced the ball out of play to signal full-time.

Meanwhile, winger Padraig Geoghegan was in fine form again for Greystones as they took the spoils against Bective, coming away from Donnybrook with a hard-earned 23-13 verdict.

Geoghegan, a regular scorer so far this season, struck for the decisive try in the 75th minute. He charged up the touchline from his own 22, kicking ahead and regathering possession to run in a memorable solo score by the posts.

Bective were very much in the hunt having recovered from a 10-0 deficit, with Geoghegan and flanker Blake Hill running in early five-pointers for ‘Stones. Rangers fought back to make it 13-all by half-time, but Barry Lynn’s 70th-minute penalty, combined with Geoghegan’s second try of the day, saw the visitors prevail.

Greystones are now second overall but with two more games played than pacesetters Derry and third-placed Highfield. The Co. Wicklow side are back at Donnybrook next Sunday for the Leinster Senior League Shield final against Wanderers (kick-off 2pm).

ROUND 10 RESULTS –

Bective Rangers 13 Greystones 23, Donnybrook
MU Barnhall v Highfield, Parsonstown (match postponed due to unplayable pitch)
Sunday’s Well 9 Dungannon 6, Mahon
Rainey Old Boys v City of Derry, Hatrick Park (match postponed due to unplayable pitch)
Seapoint v Armagh, Kilbogget Park (match postponed due to unplayable pitch)