Coleraine lost out to league leaders Clogher Valley for the second week in a row, this time in the Qualifying League following last week’s Towns Cup defeat.
Following the previous week and defeat in the Cup, Coleraine had hoped for a better result but, despite a valiant effort, the home side lost out 3-29.
When other results are taken into account the net result is Coleraine lose another place in the league, entering the bottom three.
Speaking after the game Coleraine coach Richard Beggs said: “Clogher are not clear leaders of the league for nothing. They were just too well drilled, too physical, for us today. They dominated the scrum and defended really well.
“We had some changes in the side this week and every single one of the guys played their hearts out. They were exhausted when we came of the field and that shows the huge commitment during the game.
“We had some positive passages of play but in the end we just couldn’t get through the defence. We now have four games in two weeks, starting with an away fixture to Bangor on Wednesday evening and then Donaghadee on Saturday. The following week we entertain Portadown on Wednesday and finally Dromore away on the 15th.
“It will be tight going but we will be going all out for points.”
On Saturday Coleraine made a bright start but ten minutes in there were signs of things to come as the visitors scored under the posts and converted. Coleraine attacked and after some positive moves were rewarded with a penalty 30metres out. Mikey Poskitt was on target for three points.
Clogher attacked again and from a five-metre scrum they powered over the line for another converted try. As the half drew to a close the visitors went down to 14 men after a yellow card against them.
From the restart Coleraine attacked and after several phases were deep in the opposition 22. A promising attacking position from a five-metre lineout was halted by the solid Clogher defence, but which saw yet another yellow card for the visitors.
Ten minutes later Clogher scored wide on the wing, unconverted, and followed this with another squeeze over the line from a 10 metre scrum, again unconverted.
In the last ten minutes Coleraine poured attack after attack at the Clogher lines but were repulsed by a very strong and disciplined defence.
The final passages of play saw a third yellow for Clogher but again they responded with a forceful attack and scored on the wing after a clever chip and chase.
The conversion missed but the score brought the final tally to Coleraine 3-29 Clogher Valley.
Wednesday evening sees Coleraine Firsts travel to Bangor, kick off 7.30pm. On Saturday they travel to Donaghadee, kick off 2.30pm
Coleraine First XV: D McCorkell, R Smyth, M Hunter, K Greenlaw (S Evans), W Chestnutt, A Neely, S Douglas, D Ramage, B Carstens, M Poskitt, C Hughes, S Patterson (B Mullan), C Simpson, A Barr, A Chambers. Subs: S Evans, B Mullan.