OMAGH SECONDS 5 BANN SECONDS 21
On a pitch showing the effects of the recent heavy rain, Bann enjoyed early territory and possession, forcing Omagh to concede two penalties which skipper Aaron Kennedy slotted over to settle the visitors’ nerves.
Although playing into the wind, the home side steadily worked their way upfield to cross for the unconverted try which was to prove their only scoreboard reward of the afternoon.
The loss of injured hooker Tim Savage might have proved game-changing for Bann, but John Wilson moved from flanker into the middle of the front row, and with Scott Magowan coming off the bench, Bann continued to call the shots
The elements were making it increasingly difficult for Omagh to clear their lines. Another penalty opportunity was snaffled up by Kennedy for a 5-9 lead. And then out-half Ben Thompson showed his eye for a gap, cruising through the home defence for a try which Kennedy bettered for a 5-16 interval lead.
It was inevitable, given the prevailing wind, that Bann would be in defensive mode for much of the second half. But with prop Scott Cromie setting a fine example with a string of big hits, Bann were able to keep the opposition at bay.
And when they managed to work their way back upfield, a try from centre Joe Finnegan left Omagh needing three scores for the win.
Manager John Woods highlighted a number of individual performances. “Alex Megaw showed up well, especially out of touch”, he commented. “Wingers Jack Myles and Ben Lavery showed their defensive qualities, with Ben also taking some great catches when Omagh resorted to tactical kicking.
“Charlie Jones and Joe Finnegan made a good centre pairing and Andy Denver slotted into the team nicely on his Christmas break from Uni.
“But for his solid work-rate and all-round control of the game in testing weather conditions, Ben Thompson was a clear winner of Man-of-the-Match.”