Clem Bassett reports from Donaldson Park
Donaghadee 3rd XV 14 Evergreens 44
Following their hard fought McCambley Cup game in Armoy, the Evergreens resumed their league campaign with a trip to Donaghadee. On leaving Hinch, there was an abundance of snow but at the seaside it seemed like a different day with not a flake to be seen. The pitch was heavy and a stern contest was expected.
The Evergreens had 9 of the previous weeks team unavailable due to a mixture of injuries and AQE results so it was important that everyone dug in hard and produced a real team effort on a very heavy pitch.
Skipper Clem Bassett made the decision to play with the wind and the sun behind them and this proved to be beneficial as the wind dropped in the second half and the scoring with the elements would prove to be too big a mountain for the Dee men to climb in the second half.
The Evergreens received the ball from the kick off and secured good possession before Joel Callaghan started to drill the ball down field, undoing any progress that the home team made. A solid scrum set up the platform for the ball to be moved swiftly to Matty Shields who went in for the first Hinch score and it was converted by Callaghan.
The game progressed in much the same manner for the remainder of the first half with Ian Wallace and Ian Dornan tormenting their opposite numbers in the tight and the loose and they were both rewarded with well taken tries. Jason Barr also worked hard on the wing and beat his opposition to go through for a score and unlike Owen Farrell was rewarded with a try when the ball seemed to be knocked on as went to score between the posts.
Brendan Warn lead the pack and his unique line-out calls seemed to cause ample confusion with the opposition. Hugh Gabbie and the veteran Trevor Brown went about their business in their usual subtle way and Jerome Guerero ran the line of the match with some of his French flair. Paddy Gibson played his first game of the season and showed his power and pace on a number of occasions, also Joel Callaghan grabbed a cheeky try and added conversions and a penalty to keep the home team at bay. Donaghadee managed a converted trys at the end of each half as a reward for their efforts.
This Saturday the Evergreens play Omagh in the cup quarter final at home and Clem Bassett will have a selection dilemma or two on his hands. All support is welcome for the 2.30 pm kick off.