By Michael Gaskin
Trinity got off to a flying start in their opening league game of the season, with an impressive 30 – 10 win over last years division 3 champions, Queens University Belfast.
Queens got off to the brighter start during the opening exchanges and continually probed the Trinity defence looking to gain an early advantage. However a well organised Trinity defence repelled all attempts to infeltraite their lines by the visitors.
After weathering the early storm, Trinity slowly but surely got the upper hand on their opponents. As Trinity began to apply continual pressure to the Queens defence, the visitors succumbed to the pressure and began to give away very kickable scores. Full back James O’Donoughe effortlessly slotted over three first half penalties to put the home side 9-0 up after half an hour.
Shortly before half time and with the visitors looking increasingly ragged in defence, Conor Colclough scored Trinity’s first try of the game. After some excellent build up play from Trinity duo Mick O’Loughlin and Colin McDonnell, Conor Colclough slide in in the corner. James O’Donoughe, who was in impervious form throughout the game slotted over the extras to give the home side a well deserved 16-0 lead at the break.
In the second half Trinity took complete control of the game against a Queens team whose thoughts had already turned to the trip home. Trinity’s pack which was dominant and provided the platform for attacks throughout the game, allied with the help of bad weather conditions made for a miserable afternoon for Queens and who gave numerous penalties to the home side in and around their own 22 meter line in the second half.
It was on the hour mark that Trinity’s dominance in the half finally paid off, as after an excellent piece of attacking kicking from James O’Donoughe, allowed him to off-load to Shane Hanratty who showed some deft foot work by gliding past two opposition players along the sideline and put the game beyond doubt by scoring Trinity’s second try of the game.
With both sides having emptied the bench, Queens finally got points on the board with a well worked try that split the Trinity defence. This was quickly followed up with a successfully converted penalty against a Trinity side that looked like they were going through the motions in the closing stages of the game. With ten minutes left the score was now 23-10 in favour of Trinity.
It was ultimately in vain however as it was Trinity who had the final say in the game. With the Queens pack on its last legs, Trinity gave it all in a series of scrums on the visitors 5 meter line. The referee eventually awarded a penalty try under the posts for the home side after Queens repeatedly collapsed the scrums when the went over their try line. James O‘Donoughe continued his fine form with the boot and slotted the extras for 30-10 lead.
Trinity went in search of a fourth try for an added bonus point in the closing few minutes of the game but the visitors defence held firm and time eventually ran out on them. They were delighted to get their campaign off to such a good start and hope it bodes well for the rest of the season to come.