Coleraine had a difficult day at the weekend, losing out to a strong Dromore side.
The Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship game saw Coleraine travel to Co Down with many new faces as their injury crisis continues.
Despite many regular players being unavailable, mainly through injury, it is testament to the side that they put in a very spirited performance against well-schooled opposition.
Dromore are vying for a top three finish to the league and recently won the Junior Cup in a hard fought final against Ballynahinch Seconds. Dromore is a well-structured team showing the benefits of a regular playing squad and their set piece play proved to be Coleraine’s downfall.
Speaking after the game Coleraine coach Benjy Van Der Byl said he was disappointed with the result but heaped praise on his team for the effort and enthusiasm with which they played.
He especially thanked those who had turned out at short notice, several gaining their first First XV call-up, and performed so strongly in trying circumstance.
From the start Dromore showed their appetite for attack, creating a penalty and a converted try within the first ten minutes. The home side was reduced to 14 men after a dangerous tackle and, although Coleraine came close, the defence held them at bay.
When back up to strength Dromore continued the dominate, three further tries bringing the half-time score to 29-0
Immediately from the restart, Dromore scored another unconverted try in the corner.
Coleraine found a better rhythm and created a number of well-executed forays into Dromore territory. One attack saw Coleraine cross the line only to have the try adjudged to be held up.
Persistent attack kept Coleraine on the Dromore lines and after patient, controlled forward’s pressure, Ady Nevin crossed the line for a well-deserved try. The conversion went just wide.
The visitors had a number of chances as they attacked with renewed vigour but the Dromore defence stood strong. Dromore claimed the final points with five minutes left. The unconverted try brought the final score to 39-5.
Coleraine will be training this week with a view to a strong performance as they entertain Enniskillen on Saturday. Selection will still be problematic but it is hoped that some of the injured members will again be available to strengthen the squad.
Coleraine First XV: C Butler, M Juzl, C Breadon, F Wiseman, D McKinley, A McKee, J King, S McLean, M Kennedy, A Parke, S Callaghan, K McAuley, M Senk, N Graham, B Cochrane. Subs: A Nevin, S Moffat.