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Nail biter at Barban Hill

Recent matches between Grosvenor and Dromore have been very close affairs and this game proved no different.

Grosvenor took an early lead from a Johnston penalty. The defence was nothing less than heroic as the home side battled to get back in the match but it was eventually breached after 20mins when Dromore rumbled over following a lineout catch and drive. 7-3. Grosvenor fought back with some neat handling in the backs and rampaging runs by the forwards. Another Johnston penalty reduced the deficit to one point and as half time approached another penalty nudged the visitors ahead 7-9. In the last minute of the half Dromore launched a concerted attack and their winger crashed over in the left corner to leave the score 12-9 at the break.

The third quarter belonged to Dromore but they were thwarted by a combination of some terrific Grosvenor tackling and poor finishing. On 60 minutes they worked another lineout catch and drive and rumbled over for a try 17-9. This spurred Grosvenor and they launched a series of attacks upfield. Dromore were under the cosh and yielded a number of penalties as Grosvenor crept closer to their line. Quick thinking Skelto tapped a quick penalty to dive over at the posts and the conversion made it 17-16. With two minutes of play left Grosvenor took the lead again with another penalty 17-19 but agonisingly from the restart they coughed up a breakdown penalty 35m out which the Dromore outhalf converted to snatch victory. 20-19

There was much to admire about this Grosvenor performance including their dominant scrummaging, counter attacking play and tenacious tackling in defence. A losing bonus point is scant reward for their efforts but it may later prove invaluable in this tightest of leagues.

Stand out players were Breen, McNeight and Johnston in the backs and McMaster, Baird and Pollock in the pack but my FinTrU Player of the Week is prop Micah Stevenson who's scrummaging was top drawer and his tackle count was through the roof.

Next week Grosvenor welcome Carrick to Gibson Park for what promises to be another

tight league match.

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