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Dungannon pull off an upset by halting Malone

 

By Ronnie Ingram

Bank of Ireland Senior Cup holders City of Armagh, Ballynahinch and Omagh all qualified for the second round but the surprise was the defeat of Malone at Dungannon, 30-20.

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It was a disappointing effort from the Belfast side who looked dangerous in possession before poor handling let them down. On the other hand, Dungannon gave their all and fully deserved the victory.

After 15 minutes Dungannon's Johnny Toal cut in from his wing behind the moving pack to score for Jordan McIlwaine to goal.

Rory Campbell reduced the arrears with a penalty but a drive from a line-out saw Malcolm Allister crash over to make it 12-3. Campbell added a second penalty but McIlwaine cancelled it out to make the interval score 15-6.

The third quarter was a dull affair before Toal again showed his talent, weaving through the middle for centre Matthew Montgomery to touch down.

On the hour Campbell added the points to a try from Malone replacement Ryan Clarke but a second McIlwaine penalty meant the visitors needed two scores. They managed one from winger Andy Bryans but Dungannon pressure four minutes from time led to a penalty try.

Even with three tries by Aaron Cairns, Ballynahinch still had to come from behind twice before eliminating a courageous Queen's 38-27. Sean O'Hagan goaled an early George Pringle try but the students levelled when they broke out of their '22' for Andrew Magrath to score for Ritchie McMaster to convert.

Ballynahinch made it 21-15 at half-time with Cairns and John Donnan converted scores while the visitors contributed a McMaster penalty and Michael Orr try.

Sustained pressure led to Queen's going ahead again with a converted Fal de Valve try but a dominant home scrum resulted in an O'Hagan penalty. Cairns added his second but the visitors came back again when Robbie Johnston scored their fourth. Cairns sprinted through for his third and O'Hagan kicked all five conversions.

In the other ties, City of Armagh and Banbridge played a pointless first half but the home team squeezed through 10-3 at Palace Grounds while Omagh recorded a 25-6 win at Bangor where Scott Elliott accumulated 15 of their points.

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