Gordon West Cup Semi-Final: Limavady 60, Letterkenny 7
Holders Limavady advanced to an April 16th Gordon West Cup final showdown with Lurgan following a largely one sided North West derby victory over Letterkenny on Saturday.
The Donegal men did enjoy a good spell of possession at the start of the second half, but once the Qualifying 3 champions found their gear, it was just a matter of how many points the victory margin would be.
Eager to stamp their authority on the game from the start, the Roesiders stormed into a 17-0 lead by the 17th minute with Clive Scott, Sam Mackey and scrum half Jamie Miller all touching down.
The men from Dave Gallagher Park tried in vein to make inroads into the Limavady red zone but found the home side defence in a rather mean and unforgiving mood.
A break from out-half Luke Faulknour laid the founds for try number four which was finished off by Jamie Miller and then, following a line-out steal from Sheagh McLaughlin, winger Stewart Roddy stormed home for his side’s fifth try. Jack McCool adding two conversions for a 29-0 lead at the turnaround.
The first twenty minutes of the second half became a bit disjointed for the hosts due in part to a number of switches brought about by injury. Letterkenny took advantage of this and on 50 minutes hooker Shaun McGill got the Donegal men onto the scoreboard with a well deserved try. Ryan Mortimer added the extras and the visitors suddenly had a spring in their step.
But if the third quarter was Letterkenny’s, the final quarter was all about the hosts. Limavady upped the ante to run in a further five tries in devastating spell of running rugby.
Full back Peter Wilson and winger Tom McClelland scored a brace a-peice with the versatile and hard working Robert Lamberton scoring a fantastic individual try in the final minute. Three conversions were added by McCool to round off a comprehensive win.
A clinical display from the cup holders which books a second successive visit to the Kingspan Stadium. Before then, however, there are three league games to be played starting next week with a home fixture against Newry (k.o. 2.30pm).
Head coach Paul O’Kane was understandably delighted afterwards, not just with the display but with how players like David Craig, Kent King and Johnny Blair were able to step up seamlessly from the Seconds, and also Michael Rice’s versatility after switching from the second row to tight head.
Limavady: P. Wilson, R. Lamberton, J.M. Miller, J. McCool, S. Roddy, L. Faulkner, J. Miller. C. Scott, J. Blair, M. Rice, J. Purcell, K. King, S. Mackey, P. Browne, D.Irvine. Replacements: S. McLaughlin, C. Tinney, A McAlmoyle, D. Craig, T. McClelland.
After last week’s cup defeat the Limavady Second XV returned to league action last Friday night with a trip to Eaton Park to face Ballymena Fourths. Things were going well when the young Roesiders raced into a 10-0 lead but the experienced North Antrim side clawed their way back to record a 21-10 victory.
Enniskillen Seconds are next up on Saturday afternoon at the John Hunter Memorial Grounds (k.o. 2.30pm).
The under 14s were also in cup action on Saturday morning as they accounted for Ballymoney 47-5 in Round 1. Details of the team’s opponents in Round 2 will be known once all first round fixtures been been completed.