Convincing Omagh close in on Junior title success
Omagh II are marching on towards the Junior One title after a seventh successive victory, this time against Ballyclare II 26-3 at Doagh Road.
Currently they are in second place, two points in arrears of Ballynahinch III but with two games in hand and have already accounted for their main rivals 25-19 at Ballymacarn Park.
Ballyclare have been badly weakened in recent weeks due to the requirements of their firsts but that should not take anything away from a young and solid Omagh that is the only undefeated team in the Section.
In the first quarter, the visitors had the better of the exchanges and but for some resolute defending, Stuart Lyons and then James Irwin would have crossed.
Ballyclare then upped their game but the interval scoreline of 6-3 to the visitors was a fair reflection of the play with two penalties from Irwin and one by Stephen Beasant.
Omagh had made stupid mistakes and had difficulty holding on to the ball whereas their opponents controlled well but never really came close to scoring a try against the formidable defence.
"After the restart we took advantage of some Ballyclare indiscipline and Irwin kicked our third penalty and minutes later we ran in our first try," commented captain Stephen Moffitt.
It came from a scrum with numbers eight to 12 all involved before young centre Yonga Talena showed his strength when he bounced off a couple of defenders to go in under the posts for Irwin to goal.
On the resumption and before Ballyclare recovered, Omagh brought play back up the pitch and flanker Aaron Short was driven over to make it 21-3.
In the last play, out-half Stuart McKee saw a gap and cut through to the home '22'.
Possession was retained and following a number of phases the ball was whipped out to second centre Michael Gibson who crashed over.
Captain Moffitt added: "Ballyclare were tough and had a few experienced players that managed to slow the game down for a time. We lost hooker Simon Monteith through injury but on his resumption we came back strongly.
"Our very young team's fitness made all the difference in the final 15 minutes."
Other Junior 1 results: CIYMS II 45 Grosvenor II 0, Coleraine II 7 Ballynahinch III 72, Malone III 13 Ballymoney II 42.