Donegal Town second XV had the edge on local rivals Ballyshannon this afternoon when a spirited performance from the home side and some stout defending helped as they held on in a hotly contested local derby.
Donegal Town 2nd XV 24 Ballyshannon 22
Ballyshannon drew first blood in this game and it was as if there was a turkey hangover for the home side.
However Donegal replied instantly through Victor Mitchell in a well worked team move, but David Murray was wayward with the conversion.
Ballyshannon again came up the field and went ahead 12-5.
The game swung back and forth with both teams being denied tries from some stout and resolute defending.Some great defensive work from the home back line led to they home side’s second try courtesy of an intercept from debutant centre Conor Classon.
David Murray added the extras.
Donegal then lost influential scrum half Hugh Morrow to injury.
Some more defending was necessary before half time where Donegal lost veteran Hooker Keith Anderson for ten mins to the bin in what seemed a harsh call.
Donegal came out in the second half with a point to prove and straight from the restart Donegal broke up the field and some great inter play from centers Eddie Gallagher and Conor Classon sent winger John Harkin in for a try that wasn’t converted.
Donegal knocked on the restart but turned over possession quickly in the resulting scrum and again the centers combined well with winger who put through flanker Laurie. The try was converted.
John Harkin was next in the bin in what was a harsh call something the home team can feel aggrieved by.
While down to 13 Ballyshannon got in for the third and final time.
Donegal spent the rest of the half defending and some brilliant tackling from Diver, Harkin, C.Classon and McGinty kept the home team with five between them.
Ballyshannon knocked over a late penalty but the Donegal pack turned defence into attack on a number occasions and the game finished in the opposing 5.
One to fifteen Donegal played very well but Conor Classon deserves a special mention for his tackling while Man of the Match was team captain Ciaran Harley who tackled and carried at every opportunity.