Highs and lows for Omagh Accies continue.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

THE HIGHS and lows of Omagh Accies' first season back in AIL 2C continued at the weekend as they were soundly beaten 27-5 at home by a well drilled Malahide outfit, who now leapfrog them into third place in the table.

Omagh Accies ...5
Malahide ...27

Strangely subdued and lacking urgency, invention and pace, Omagh were a shadow of the side that left Thomond scoring six tries in a raucous 39-32 victory the previous week.

The visitors were good value for the win, but the most disappointing thing for Phil Marshalls' men was the fact that Omagh never really pushed them or were in contention in match that was well adjudicated by referee, Helen O'Reilly.

Malahide started brighter, using their forwards to set up quick, clean ball in midfield and with influential scrum half Darragh Sweeney sniping round the fringes and using his blindside well they carved out an early opportunity but were denied by a knock on.

Utilising the blindside, the Co.Dublin side created an opportunity finished by centre, John Kennedy, after seven minutes.

Kicker Conal Keane had the rub of the green with the resulting conversion going over off the post.

Keane needed no assistance on fifteen minutes when he slotted over a penalty as Omagh were pinged just outside their 22, as they struggled to get into the contest.

With the lineout timing just off and the visitors challenging the home jumpers, the Accies struggled to get clean possession out of touch, though the scrum was solid in the first half.

They struggled to break down a tough Malahide defence in which the two flankers, Leo Weiss and Simon Kinsella, impressed, pushing the home side back in the tackle and making a nuisance of themselves at the breakdown, a key battle which was won by the Dublin side all after noon.

Omagh did get back in to the contest and put plenty of phases together but never looked like getting over the line despite their efforts, phases and territory with knock ons and passes not going to hand robbing them of momentum on several occasions.

Sucker punch The Accies were hit with the ultimate sucker punch as they strove for their opening score. A long period of possession and several phases had seen them advance deep in the visitors 22 and when skipper Stewart McCain went blind a try looked inevitable with the defence sucked in.

The Malahide winger, Marcus McAllister stepped in off his line, intercepted and ran in unopposed to deliver a massive blow to the home side just on the stroke of half time. The conversion went narrowly wide.

Half time 0-15.

Malahide took the initiative early in the second period and looked likely to score on a couple of occasions but were let down by the final pass, and with flanker James Catterson shown the yellow card, things looked bleak for the home side, through their defence was solid, organised and fought hard to keep them in the game.

Omagh tried to be inventive but couldn't string together much in the first 20 minutes of the second period but hung in well until they got their chance, taken with style by fullback Alistair Beckett.

Kyle Alexander made a big line break up the middle and although he couldn't get the pass away he set the ball up with the pack converging. It went left before appearing to stall, though fellow sub Scott Elliott timed a neat pass to Beckett who hit the line at a great angle.

With still plenty to do he jinked past two defenders to cross the whitewash to round off a good score.

Elliott was unlucky to see his effort come back off the upright.

With momentum and the crowd coming to life, Omagh looked to come back again but were rocked when a simple move wide pulled their defence out of position with the blindside exposed allowing McAllister to touch down for his second try of the game.

The conversion was short.

This proved to be too much of a hill to climb and it was no surprise when the visitors, showing superior fitness created the overlap with Keane ducking inside to cross for a try in the last five minutes which he converted himself.

Omagh did launch one more might effort with good breaks from Elliott and Adam Longwell but as was the story on too many occasions, a loose final pass eluded the intended recipient, went into touch and the opportunity was lost, and the match finished 27-5 to the Dublin men.

The home side will lick their wounds and be disappointed by this one. They lost the key battles at the breakdown, didn't take any opportunities they had and were lacklustre and lacking the sharpness.

Coach Phil Marshall will be looking for a big week at training to lift his side before their return trip to Estuary Road, Malahide this Saturday.

Hooker Adam Pollock is a doubt for the game while the trio of Jonny Sproule, Philip Ewing and Neil Brown will be assessed during the week by the physio and may be added to the squad.

Omagh will be looking to bounce back immediately, and with a fine away record with wins against Bruff, Seapoint and Thomond already this season, will be optimistic of taking points against Malahide, though will need to cut down on the mistakes, protect the blindside and win the battle of the breakdown.

Team : Alistair Beckett, Stephen MacLaine, Scott Barr, Luke Hanson, Ryan Mitchell, Eoin Murnaghan, Stewart McCain (c), Peter Todd, Adam Pollock, Richard Smyth, Mervyn Edgar, Andrew Ferguson, James Catterson, Adam Longwell, Matthew Clyde

Subs : Kyle Alexander, Matthew Sproule, Dean Porter, Scott Elliott, Yonga Taleni


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