Thirds see off Donaghadee to close the gap

Coleraine Rugby Club Thirds skipper, Robert Andrews, thanks Stephen O'Neill, O'Neills Caravan Park, Castlerock and Craig McCorkell, Chequers, Coleraine, who donated team polo shirts to each member of the Thirds on Saturday.

Coleraine Rugby Club Thirds skipper, Robert Andrews, thanks Stephen O'Neill, O'Neills Caravan Park, Castlerock and Craig McCorkell, Chequers, Coleraine, who donated team polo shirts to each member of the Thirds on Saturday.

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Coleraine Thirds moved to third place in their league, within four points of the leaders with two games in hand, after this hard fought but well deserved victory over fourth placed Donaghadee Seconds.

Coleraine played with the wind at their backs in the first half but failed to take full advantage of it.

The penalty count was high against Coleraine in the first half hour and prevented them from building any momentum. The breakthrough came on the half hour. Wing Jason Balmer gathered a kick and made good ground before being tackled and the recycled ball was moved across the backs to Gareth McCallum twenty metres out, and ‘Herman’ used his strength and power to score close to the posts. The conversion was missed and two minutes later another Donaghadee penalty was well scored. Five minutes from the whistle Coleraine at last were awarded a penalty and Ian Young’s accurate kick made the half time score 8-3.

Five minutes after the restart McCallum scored again, Young’s conversion made it 15-3 and a two score lead.

As the weather got worse play became scrappy. Coleraine’s pack with its new found resolve, and with Dion McCorkell producing a man of the match performance in attack and defence, were allowing Donaghadee very little good possession and, as the visitors began to realise that the were not going to close the gap, it was the home side that came closest to scoring in the closing stages, notably when Jamie Carson again broke clear on a speedy run only to have the ball slip out of his grasp with the line beckonning. The final stages were comfortable enough as Coleraine ran out winners by fifteen points to three.