CATCH US IF you can! That’s the message from Letterkenny Under-18s to the rest of Ulster.
Letterkenny Under-18’s 59-5 Randalstown Under-18’s
In a top of the table clash at Dave Gallagher Park on Saturday second placed Randalstown were disposed of in a clinical and emphatic fashion that leaves Letterkenny top of the table with the destiny of the league title firmly in their own hands.
In a sparkling nine-try display where backs and forwards played equally well Daniel Faulkner top scored with four, Ben Khavia and Matthew Faulkner with two each and Kevin Grant with one try. Peter Scott added two penalties and four conversions.
Photo caption: Daniel Faulkner carving through the Randalstwon defence to score his second of four tries on Saturday with Matthew Faulkner and Daragh Toal in support
After a delayed start due to the late arrival of the visitors the team got straight down to their task. From the start the home pack threw down the gauntlet to their opponents in terms of work rate and intensity and were the clear winners. Their work as a unit and in particular their tackling meant their opponents rarely got any time on the ball and starved the visitors backline of any worthwhile possession.
An early try by Daniel Faulkner after a good passing move through the backs off a number of phases by the pack helped to settle the team. Relentless pressure from the home team resulted in two penalties by Scott. The flood gates then opened with four trys scored before half time.
Captain Faulkner lead by example with two powerful scores through the heart of the Randalstown defence. Khavia then scored with a lovely dart from the base of a ruck where he used his trademark side step. The final try of the half belonged to outside center Matthew Faulkner who showed his elusive characteristics to score in the corner.
The score, 30-0 at half time, was a fair reflection of the home teams dominance where they never allowed the visitors to settle and every man tackled as if his life depended on it.
In a half where intelligent kicking from out half Scott and a pack led by the work rate and carrying of Joseph Dunleavy it was hard to see how the second half display would match the first. However such is the focus of this team and there desire to win that the second half was just as good with the intensity level from the home team never dropping.
Another try from Faulkner was followed by a jinking run from Kevin Grant which took him from one side of the pitch to the opposite corner to touch down.
Even as the home team began to empty the bench there was no respite for Randalstown with every player in the home team squad anxious to show their worth to the coaches, subs Lewi Carson and Will Douglas were particularly impressive.
Three more tries followed with Khavia sniping through at the side of a ruck for his second and Matthew Faulkner with a great run down the left wing, touching down under the posts for second of the day also. The scoring was completed by team captain Daniel Faulkner with his fourth try of the day.
Overall a great display from the team with the pack fronting up to their opponents where Dunleavy was well supported by Diarmuid Gallagher, John Fogarty and Dara Toal while in the backs, Scott and Daniel Faulkner were ably assisted by those around them in particular Matthew Faulkner.
In what was a fine individual display the younger Faulkner was responsible for the moment of the game when he flicked the ball up gaelic football style with his foot while on the run.
The team now have a week off with a visit to Carrick next up in two weeks time. The challenge for this team now is to maintain the standards they have set as they move into the second half of the season.
Letterkenny: K Grant, E Henry, M Faulkner, D Faulkner, O Toal, P Scott, B Khavia, J Dunleavy, D Toal, M Molloy, J Fogarty, D Gallagher, C Green, S Holmes S Gibson. Subs D Ward, W Douglas, C Cannon, L Carson, J McGarvey, J Smeaton, A Boal-Quinn.Tags: