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Dungannon Squeeze Home Against ‘Wegians

Dungannon Squeeze Home Against ‘Wegians

Dungannon did most of the damage in the opening half as they gained their first win in this season’s All-Ireland League, beating Galwegians at Crowley Park on Saturday.

The Tyrone men were the better side overall and recovered from a relatively poor start to put hooker Adam Duhig over for a seventh minute try.

Winger Chris Cochrane made the initial incision with a well-judged chip and chase and the ball was worked to the supporting Duhig to score to the right of the posts.

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Out-half Paddy Jackson's successful conversion was cancelled out by Galwegians full-back and captain John Cleary who landed a 14th minute penalty, having missed an earlier effort.

'Wegians' defending was suspect at times and such was the case when flanker Rowan Halsall sidestepped his way past three defenders for the visitors' second try. Cleary responded with a converted try in the 26th minute, reducing the arrears to 12-10.

But with the Galway side conceding a succession of penalties – they lost centre Colin Conroy to the sin-in for a tackle off the ball – Jackson landed a brace of penalty kicks to steady Justin Fitzpatrick's side.

Dungannon then created the space for winger Craig Gilroy to nip in for his third try in as many league games.

'Wegians' Connacht-contracted lock Dave Nolan had what looked a legitimate try ruled out, and as the home forwards heaped huge pressure on the 'Gannon line, Cleary made it 23-13 for half-time.

Dungannon had two players sin-binned amid five scrum penalties for the home side, but there was no sign of a penalty try.

A 55th minute penalty from Jackson, which proved vital in the end, came as 'Wegians flanker Ivan Muldoon was in the sin-in for a deliberate knock on.

Replacement prop Ja Naughton claimed a late brace of tries, putting 'Wegians in touching distance of an unlikely win.

Cleary converted the first try, but he could not convert the second – a maul effort – and 'Gannon held on for a much-needed success.

Referee: David Keane (IRFU)