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Thriller at Barban Hill

The swirling wind yesterday made for difficult conditions for this Championship 1 match at Dromore. Grosvenor opened the scoring with a Skelton penalty but after 20 mins the home side worked their way over in the corner following a catch and drive line out. 5-3. Grosvenor regained the lead with another Skelton penalty 6-5 but their mis-firing line out and breakdown indiscipline made it difficult to build and maintain any meaningful territory in the Dromore half. The referee showed Kennedy yellow for repeated infringements and Dromore took advantage working another try in the left hand corner. 10-6. With a minute left on the clock Grosvenor worked a great sweeping move which saw prop McMaster burst through the middle into the Dromore 22, quick hands created a gap for Taylor to crash over in the corner. A marvellous conversion from Skelton gave the visitors a 13-10 lead at the break.

Grosvenor started the second period strongly and from a catch and drive lineout Stevenson crashed over for a splendid try, again converted by Skelton 20-10. Dromore were visibly rattled but Grosvenors breakdown indiscipline and lineout problems continued and the chance to apply a coup de grace was missed. Dromore got back into the game with a converted try 20-17 and with five minutes to go were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. Instead of going for a kick to level the scores they gambled on a scrum and after a series of drives forced their way way over for a try 24-20. Grosvenor still had a few chances to get back in front but a couple of controversial scrum penalties handed advantage back to Dromore who clung on for victory.

A disappointing result and a losing bonus point for Grosvenor, who will rue their missed chances and high penalty count. However there were many positives to build on.

AE