Rugby: Dungannon make top four

Dungannon made a historic breakthrough at Stevenson Park with their first

Dungannon 39 Garryowen 34

Dungannon made a historic breakthrough at Stevenson Park with their first

ever top four finish, but they made their fans sweat to the very end of a

nine-try thriller.

A second half Killian Keane hat-trick threatened to spoil the party for a

home side which had won seven of its last eight games and averaged five tries

an outing.

But fortunately for Willie Anderson's men, they were able to maintain that

scoring form and hit back with four touchdowns of their own to go through

with just a little to spare.

The home side went in front after four minutes when Tyrone Howe swept the

ball out wide for Jan Cunningham to score, and David Humphreys' boot eased

them into a 13-3 lead.

But they were finally punished following series of unforced errors when

winger Kevin O'Riordan touched down following a ruck on the opposition line.

The Tyrone men managed to regain their momentum to craft an injury-time try

for Bryn Cunningham, and Dungannon led 18-10 at the break.

But they were rocked by two Keane tries inside four minutes.

First he kicked ahead, followed up and scored under the posts, then got on

the end of a powerful forward surged to breach a somewhat delicate Dungannon


Fortunately for Dungannon, they were able to get in for another try of their

own in between Keane's scores, Ryan Constable flying in to score in the


But Garryowen were beginning to win the forward battle, and it was second row

Ross Leahy who thundered over for thir fourth try 17 minutes into the second


Keane's missed conversion, allied to an earlier effort which struck a post,

robbed the Limerick men of the chance to go in front, but now they were just

a point adrift at 28-27.

The game was to take yet another swing four minutes later, Humphreys and

Constable combining to send Bryn Cyunningham over for his second.

And Humphreys kept his nerve to hit two crucial late penalties to secure

Dungannon's semi-final spot.

Dungannon: B Cunningham, J Cunningham, R Constable, J Bell, T Howe, D

Humphreys, S Bell, R Mackey, N Brady, J Fitzpatrick, P Johns, A Kearney, A

Boyd, A Hughes, T McWhirter. Replacements: M Haslett for Hughes, G Leslie for


Garryowen: D Crotty, S Mackay, C Foley, J Brooks, K O'Riordan, K Keane, S

McCarthy, N Hartigan, P Humphreys, R Laffen, F Costello, R Leahy, C Varley, C

Hartigan, J O'Sullivan. Replacements: A Guicken for McCarthy, A Purcell for

Foley., J Giltenane for Varley.

Referee: T Redmond (Leinster)

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