LETTERKENNY RFC WERE unfortunate to lose out in the Gordon West Cup when they went down to PSNI in Derry – although it may not be the end of this one!
PSNI 22-19 Letterkenny RFC (after extra-time)
With Letterkenny trailing 19-12, PSNI lost their hooker through injury on 55 minutes, and although replacements were permitted, PSNI had none and scrums went uncontested – something Letterkenny officials debated with the official, claiming that teams must have a replacement prop.
After 19 scoreless minutes, in which time the PSNI had missed two kickable penalties, Letterkenny scored the opening try of the match through Stephen Devine.
Ryan Mortimer chipped ahead and Devine, the scrum-half, picked up possession and kicked ahead and won the race to touch down. Mortimer was narrowly off target with the conversion attempt, but Letterkenny were 5-0 up.
Then, on 28 minutes, Letterkenny, following sustained possession on the PSNI line, got in for a second try. Kevin McLaughlin broke two tackles to score and this time, Mortimer converted to leave Collie Farrell’s side 12 up and in a promising position.
However, a PSNI try before half-time after a quickly-taken penalty and crossfield pass saw their winger score in the corner. The PSNI scrum-half added the conversion, which meant Letterkenny’s lead was cut to 12-7 at the break.
In the second half, two tries in the opening eight minutes put PSNI in command – the first when the Letterkenny defence failed to clear and the inside-centre got in to score.
Then, on 48 minutes, with Letterkenny on the attack, PSNI nipped possession at the breakdown and broke away in a three against two advantage. Their right-winger scored between the posts – his second of the day. A successful conversion meant that PSNI were now 19-12 in front.
Letterkenny, playing against 14, had the best of the final quarter and were rewarded, after sustained pressure when Christopher Digamus scored on 75 minutes. When Mortimer kicked the conversion, it was 19-19.
That’s how it finished after 80 minutes and the only score of extra-time when the way of the PSNI when the scrum-half scored a routine penalty.
Letterkenny RFC: John Anthony McFadden; Evan Walsh, Sean Derry, Michael Foy, James Lee; Stephen Devine, Ryan Mortimer; Rae Clarke, Sean Gill, Christopher Digimas; Ben Mortimer, Conor Dunleavy; Gareth Gill, Gary Canning; Kevin McLaughlin. Replacements: Felix Sproll, Sean Norris.