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First Half Hat-Trick Sets Dungannon On Their Way

First Half Hat-Trick Sets Dungannon On Their Way

Dungannon led from start to finish as they saw off the challenge of Galwegians in this rescheduled Division 1B match at Stevenson Park.

The Tyrone club’s fourth successive league win has moved them into second place in the table, just two points behind leaders Belfast Harlequins with two rounds remaining.

The top six sides in Division 1B are all still in the hunt for divisional honours and promotion to the top flight, with one automatic spot for the winners and a promotion/relegation play-off for the runners-up.

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Michael Lawton kicked an early penalty to settle Dungannon nerves, and fellow winger Stuart McCloskey sped over in the corner to finish off a free-flowing move for the first try.

Galwegians were unable to thwart the hosts’ slick approach play and intelligent lines of attack, with Paul McKenzie unlocking the ‘Wegians defence to set up his centre partner Paddy Jackson for a converted try.

Another seven points was registered shortly afterwards, with the Ulster-capped Conor Gaston bursting clear out of his 22 and all the way to the whitewash. Lawton converted again for a 22-0 interval lead.

Colm Rigney’s ‘Wegians side opened their account with a penalty from full-back Tadhg Leader, five minutes into the second half.

But ‘Gannon were quick to respond as they put the ball through the hands again with backs and forwards combining to tee up Lawton for the bonus point score which he converted himself.

A try from hooker Dermot Murphy was of little consolation to the visitors as Justin Fitzpatrick's side finished off a comfortable victory with a penalty try, their reward for a series of punishing scrums.

Referee: Mark Patton (IRFU)