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Derby delight as Accies brush aside Valley challenge

Omagh's Mark Smyth brought down by Valley skipper, Kyle Cobain

Omagh’s Mark Smyth brought down by Valley skipper, Kyle Cobain

Clogher Valley ……..12
Omagh Accies ………50

CLOGHER Valley’s frustrating season continued at the Cran on Saturday afternoon, when a free scoring Omagh Accies emphatically despatched their challenge to secure an impressive Kukri Ulster Division One League derby victory.

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Phil Marshall’s men were dominant in all facets of play and, full value for their bonus point win as they outscored a limited home side by eight tries to two the delight of the Accies coach.
 
“It was very pleasing to get such a result because I thought we were going to face a very difficult challenge,” said Marshall.
 
“We were slow to settle and we were fortunate not to concede more than five points as Valley started in strong fashion.
 
“But once our forwards got parity, we managed to match them at the break down and our backs took over. We dominated and could easily have scored more but to secure a bonus point win is satisfying.”
 
 Valley actually enjoyed the best of the early skirmishes with Philip Hopper, Michael Treanor, Alex McKeown and Ryan Wilson making an impression in the pack. Neil Trotter missed an early penalty attempt, but a determined Valley continued to batter the visiting line with a succession of scrums.
 
With Adam Longwell, James Catterson and skipper Kyle Alexander rising to the challenge Omagh repelled a number of Valley surges, but they were living dangerously at times and were close to leaking a penalty try and losing a player to the bin. Fortunately for Omagh the referee allowed one further scrum with Valley finally getting over the line to take a deserved lead.
 
Ryan Wilson recycled possession into the path of the supporting Trotter, who touched down for an unconverted score. Omagh responded positively to that concession and having weathered the initial storm, they seized control.
 
Neil Maclaine and Stewart McCain started pulling the strings and, the backs showed their potential as they established a comfortable 19-5 interval lead.
 
Neil Brown darted through for the opening try, when Omagh moved their attack right from a scrum in midfield and, with Maclaine tagging on the extras, they enjoyed a lead they never relinquished.
 
Valley continued to make a fist of it and when Omagh lost the services of Alexander to the bin on 23 minutes, they looked set to capitalise. However, despite their numerical disadvantage it was Omagh, who posted two tries in quick succession. The influential Maclaine finished off another sweeping attacking move with his conversion pushing Omagh 14-5 ahead. Shortly afterwards, Omagh spread possession wide, to allow fullback Ally Beckett to outpace the Valley cover to dot down for an unconverted score.
 
 With Omagh matching Valley’s physicality in the pack they remained the more threatening team on the resumption with a turnover allowed Catterson through for the bonus point as Valley missed a number of tackles.
 
The conversion failed but the pressure was mounting on a limited home side, who struggled to get their backs into the game. The introduction of the returning Mark Smyth following an injury lay-off galvanised the Accies front row as Valley faded out of the contest.
 
The loss of Wilson to a spell in the bin compounded their problems as Beckett powered through for two successive tries to complete his hat-trick. Maclaine converted the second of those tries for a 36-5 advantage before Valley responded with a consolation try. 
 
From a five metre lineout Ryan Wilson worked his way over the whitewash with Trotter obliging from the tee.
 
Omagh’s backs were in rampant mood by now and, they completed an emphatic victory with two further tries.
 
Stewart McCain charged over following a move down the blindside and Adam Stephenson completed the rout with try number eight. Maclaine kicked both conversions to seal a satisfactory outing for the Accies who join Instonians and Enniskillen in second place in the table.
 
This weekend Omagh host current Division One leaders Portadown in the league, while Valley will be looking to secure a much needed victory to boost confidence, when they visit Ballynahinch Seconds for a Conference League fixture.

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