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Incident-packed start to season for Acciettes

Dungannon Women……………..17
Omagh Accies Women………….38

THE Deloitte Premiership opener between Dungannon and Omagh Accies women had a bit of everything…and that’s putting it mildly!

There were nine tries – five of which were scored by one player – two unfortunate and serious injuries, each of which required an ambulance and caused two lengthy delays as the match passed the three hour mark and then there was the small matter of one of the emergency services vehicle’s needing pushed off the pitch by the two sets of players, who were exhausted by that stage in proceedings!

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The two incidents, which resulted in the game being stopped occurred in either half. Dungannon’s Laura Saunders suffered a dislocation with a fracture of the ankle seven minutes before half-time after charging down an Omagh kick.

Following that lengthy delay, the game resumed just before the interval and after half-time, Omagh’s Cathy Keatley was fortunate to escape with tissue damage to her neck in the second period. She required an ambulance to take her to hospital due to fears she had suffered a more serious neck or spinal injury and it was then the emergency services needed rescuing themselves!

With the ambulance bogged on the soft pitch, both sets of players joined forces to get them moving in order to get Cathy to hospital where she received the treatment she needed.

“That was eventful!,” exclaimed Omagh skipper, RJ McKeown. “The injuries were just very unfortunate but the two teams came together, which is what that sport is all about, to push the ambulance off the pitch.”

When the game eventually reached a conclusion, it was Omagh who emerged as the winners by 38-17 thanks to five tries from the unstoppable Siobhan Sheerin, while Carrie McGowan added another and Sarah Beckett kicked the extras. Dungannon’s scorers were Julie Ann Garvey and Colleen McCance (2) with the touchdowns and Julie Beattie with the conversion.

McKeown’s counterpart, Dungannon skipper, Cheryl McWilliams, was pleased to get the game finished and believed it was the correct decision not to abandon it.

“We’ll do with less drama for the rest of the season!, she exclaimed.

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“The referee had said that because it was a Premiership match each stoppage had to be over 60 minutes before it could be called, unless both teams had refused to take to the pitch again.

“I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to replay that game – even though we meet Omagh again away – because sometimes you just have to deal with things at the time, get it over with and move on.

“It’s just not what either team would have needed given what happened on the day.

“It was quite emotional for the girls, with their team-mate down and not knowing how serious the injuries are. Mentally it was one of the toughest days I’ve ever had at rugby.”

FULL STORIES IN YESTERDAY’S ULSTER HERALD AND DUNGANNON HERALD

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