AN IMPRESSIVE VICTORY over Dromore on Saturday means Letterkenny Under-18’s require only one point from their three remaining matches to secure the Premier Division title of the Ulster Carpet sponsored league.
Letterkenny 35-3 Dromore
With their unbeaten record still intact it was the manner of the performance that pleased head coach Gordon Curley the most.
“This was our best all round performance of the season against a very good Dromore team,” he said after the game. “Our work rate and defence were exceptional throughout”.
Letterkenny were a little slow to settle but soon got their forwards running hard lines at the much larger Dromore pack. Good hands from Martin Molloy and Joe Dunleavy found full back Kevin Grant on the wing and he made no mistake from 20 metres out.
Letterkenny came straight back with good positional kicking from first centre and man of the match Daniel Faulkner. Molloy stole the lineout and from the resulting maul Letterkenny got to within five metres.
A quick pick and drive from Faulkner with considerable help from Dunleavy resulted in try number two. Dromore then enjoyed a good 15 minutes of possession resulting in a penalty converted by their out-half.
The home pack then got back on the front foot thanks to good positional play by out half Peter Scott. Letterkenny turned over possession from the resulting ruck through good work by David Ward and Chris Green.
Another typical carry from Dunleavy and Diarmiud Gallagher brought Letterkenny to within two metres of the line and Daragh Toal crashed over for a well deserved score.
LEAGUE TABLE ULSTER CARPETS U18 LEAGUE SECTION 1
The second half saw Dromore throw everything at Letterkenny with a 10-minute siege on their try line. The home team kept their line intact with resolute defence and excellent team work.
At one stage it seemed that the Dromore winger would score despite an excellent tackle from Adam Boal Quinn. As he reached to touch down he was blasted into touch by team Captain Daniel Faulkner with one of the best tackles seen at this venue for a long time.
Lack of concentration from the resulting line out gifted Dromore possession but the siege was eventually lifted thanks to great turnover worked by the very impressive scrum half Ben Khavia and substitute wing forward Louis Carson.
Letterkenny then unleashed Kevin Grant in mid filed and he picked a great line to get to within 10 metres of the Dromore try line. Matthew Faulkner was on hand to take to pop pass and score under the posts.
The final score of the game was out of the top drawer when Letterkenny called a pre planned move in mid field from an attacking scrum. A nice switch between Faulkner and Scott allowed Daragh Toal to find his brother Oisin tearing up the line at speed.
Dunleavy was on hand to take the inside pass and get to within five metres of the line. The mercurial Matthew Faulkner was again on hand to pick and drive over for a great team score.
This was a high pressure match for Letterkenny and they delivered when required. Team captain Daniel Faulkner and pack leader Joseph Dunleavy were immense in a game where all played their part. Daragh and Oisin Toal were also stand out players throughout the 70 minutes.
Another positive was the return from long term injury of Louis Carson who got through 20 minutes of hard work and will now be very hard to displace. Kevin Grant also returned from injury and managed a very impressive 50 minutes before he was called ashore.
The team now has a well deserved break next weekend before a very enticing away game to Randlestown on Saturday, January 30.
Letterkenny RFC: Chris Green, Stephen Holmes, David Ward, Diarmiud Gallagher, Will Douglas, Martin Molloy, Daragh Toal, Joeseph Dunleavy, Ben Khavia, Peter Scott, Oisin Toal, Daniel Faulkner (captain), Matthew Faulkner, Adam Boal Quinn, Kevin Grant, Louis Carson, Stephen Holmes, Douglas Doyle, Connor Cannon, John Fogarty, Josh Smeaton, Bailey Loughlin, Callum Reid, Aoidhain O Neill and Jack Lafferty.Tags: