Donaghadee Rugby Club have their celebrations in full swing after beating Ballynahinch RFC to make it the prestigious Towns Cup Final for the first time in fifty-five years.
The game started off on the right foot for the men in red and green, with Donaghadee first to put points on the sheet, with a great penalty by Nigel Barker in the fourth minute of play. Donaghadee continued to show great dominance and determination in the early stages of the game, narrowly missing a second penalty by Barker in the 9th minute.
Ballynahinch RFC began to fight back, and got the first opportunity to move the ball along their backline in the 15th minute of the game. This attack was stopped by a knock on from the left winger, Chris Savage, which brought a dangerous attack to an end.
After this great spell of play from Hinch, and the fight back from Donaghadee – both sets of supporters started to rally up and get behind their teams, creating a real Donaldson Park atompshere at times. The tenacious Donaghadee captain Alastair Lockhart led by example and was not short of ball carrying options in Cooke, Deboys, Hamilton, Johnston and company, each of which started to successfully wear down the Hinch defence one pass at a time.
Alastair Lockhart was in great control of his Donaghadee side from the start, leading by example with his rapid pace. Lockhart was sure to get quick ball to his support runners and when space opened up, the backline was able to started moving the ball down the line with both Allen and Alexander proving to be threatening in the first quarter of the pitch. This drive by Lockhart proved crucial in controlling the pace of play, and the men in red and green managed to gain the first try of the game in the 32nd minute, David Murray being the man to touch down.
The second half of the game saw a deflated Ballynahinch side take to the pitch. More scores from the men in red and green proved critical for the morale of the away team. Donaghadee took full advantage of this dip in confidence from Hinch, using the substitute bench to introduce fresh legs to the game to help extend the Dee lead further.
The final stages of the game did see a more fighting Hinch side shine through. The away side began to enjoy their share of possession, however given the score line they were forced to keep ball in hand and try to manufacture any potential scoring opportunities from Donaghadee who were comfortably in the lead at this stage.
A penalty from the away side, caused some noise on the sidelines from the Hinch supporters, however the dominance by the Dee in the first half of the game was invaluable, and the men in red and green finished with a 16 point lead when the final whistle was blown in Donaldson Park.