Omagh Accies coach Phil Marshall watched his team defeat Instonians
OMAGH Accies demonstrated their title credentials with a fully merited Kukri Ulster Championship Division One victory over Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday.
Playing arguably their best rugby for quite some time Omagh defied the absence of several key figures through injury, as they came close to bagging an impressive bonus point success.
Coach Phil Marshall had mixed views on the display. “We were simply awesome in the first half and we were deserving winners at the finish,” he claimed.
“Our rucking was exceptional, our defence was solid and, I thought we put them under serious pressure before nearly shooting ourselves in the foot. It is great to get a win, but we should have secured a bonus point win and secondly we should never have allowed Instonians back into the game.”
Omagh made a blistering start with a third minute try. From a line out the Accies launched a swift back line move that saw possession spread across the pitch for Alistair Beckett to sprint clear of the cover to touch down under the posts. Neil Maclaine added the simple conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Instonians responded with a strong Joe Fryers break but it ended with a knock on that allowed Omagh to relieve the pressure. With James Catterson delivering a man of the match performance Omagh continued to dominate.
Omagh’s pack was fighting ferociously at the breakdown and maul. Gary Sherrard was robbing possession regularly and Johnny Sproule was effective in line outs and with Neil Maclaine enjoying one of his best displays in an Accies jersey the Tyrone men continued to frustrate Instonians.
As half time loomed a comment to referee Chris Busby presented Omagh with a simple penalty that Maclaine knocked over and, when the forwards rumbled towards the line Omagh registered a second try that went unconverted as Omagh headed to the break 15-0 in front.
Seven minutes into the second half a superb piece of fielding from fullback Andrew McGregor paved the opening for a well worked Inst try. McGregor made his way to the line but even though Omagh managed to shackle him they went through the phases until number eight Rory McCurry burst over near the posts for a try converted by Andrew Keane.
Instonians were ramping things up as they kept Omagh under pressure for lengthy spells and when prop Josh Cregan barged over the try line it was game on. Keane converted for a 15-14 score line.
Omagh’s cause wasn’t helped by the loss of Adam Pollack and David Thompson to injury that led to uncontested scrums. A stray kick gave Omagh the chance to attack again and when they won a penalty at the breakdown they held the ball through enough phases for Mark Brown to maul over the line. Maclaine’s conversion provided Omagh with necessary breathing space.
Inst replied with another converted try when McCurry released winger winger Misi Bogitini at his side to take a pass and sprint away for a great try at the posts.
With seconds remaining Instonians were awarded a penalty that would have pinched victory but they elected to kick to the corner in search of the bonus point but Omagh repelled the danger to hold on for a narrow but fully deserving win.
Omagh – Gary Sherrard, Adam Pollock, David Thompson, Jonny Sproule, Jamie Sproule, James Catterson, Adam Longwell, David McFarland, Stewart McCain, Neil Maclaine, Ryan Mitchell, Alan Heaney, Matthew Eccles, Neil Brown, Ally Beckett. Replacements – Mark Brown, Scott Barr
Posted: 4:35 pm September 20, 2016
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