Donaghadee cemented their status as one of the early season favourites for the Gordon West Cup with a comprehensive six try win against a spirited Belfast high School Former Pupils side at the War Memorial Grounds on Saturday afternoon.
The desire of both sides to play a free flowing game was somewhat hampered by a strong cross field wind which led to a few handling (and kicking) errors throughout the game. The visitors coped best with the conditions and their athletic pack and pace out wide made the difference.
The early play was characterised by quite a few handling errors as both teams struggled with the wind but Donaghadee literally got the bounce of the ball when a wayward pass ricocheted of the legs of the intended player to wrong-foot the defence. The alert Chris McGivern was the first to react, gathering the ball to slide over for the opening score. Full back Danny McBride did well to guide the conversion between the posts to give Dee a 0 – 7 lead.
Enthusiastic winger Connor McKee was next to score for the visitors as he danced down the line to score in the corner and hooker Daniel Lindsey grabbed the third after a period of sustained pressure in the High School’s half. Both scores went unconverted in difficult conditions leaving the score at BHSFP 0 Donaghadee 17 at half time.
The home side enjoyed more of the play in the second half but Dee were more clinical with the ball in hand and their big pack came to the fore with prop Adam Torrans, scrum half Chris Scott and back row Connor O’Byrne all crossing from close range. The first two led to converted tries to give Dee a 0 – 36 lead with ten minutes to go.
To their credit the high School battled well throughout and their efforts were rewarded with the try of the game which was instigated behind their own line. A sparkling run and chip ahead by their centre was gathered well to leave the High School deep in Dee territory. A subsequent penalty was moved on and after a few phases the impressive No 8 for the High School broke through the last line of defence to score under the posts.
it just wasn’t the High School’s day as the conversion was skewed wide leaving the final score BHSFP 5 Donaghadee 36.