Dromore delivered a performance of the highest calibre to see of Ards 29-8 on Saturday.
The away side defeated Ards 29-8 thanks to tries from John Russell, Gareth Fitzpatrick, Richard McKelvey and Sammy Russell.
Ards raced into an 8-0 lead thanks to a penalty and an unconverted try.
A second try beckoned for Ards after electing to kick for touch after a penalty at the scrum. The maul was defended well by Dromore and the ball was turned over and eventually cleared.
Good hard running from Andy Black and Stuart Russell kept the defence honest and gave the visitors good forward ball. A penalty resulted but Russell kicked wide.
Aaron Stewart was orchestrating things well from out half and brought centres Sammy Russell and John Cullen into the game with great effect.
Good phase play brought Dromore to the 5m line after a steal at the Ards scrum. John Russell evaded a couple of tackles before scampering over the line for the score.
Sammy Russell converted to make it a one point game.
At the end of the first half, Ards tried to penetrate but to no avail and Dromore forced the knock on. 8-7 to the hosts at the break.
From the restart, Dromore managed to turn the ball over after a very good kick.
Ards found themselves down a man for 10 minutes after the substitute prop kicked. Declining 3 points, the ball was kicked into the corner for the Dromore forwards to maul over in the corner.
Gareth Fitzpatrick emerged from the bottom of the pile with the ball. Sammy Russell was unsuccessful with the conversion. 12-8 to the visitors.
Moments later, Ards spilled the ball and Sammy Russell gathered. With open field, he kicked through and chased, to force the knock on. A man up in the pack, the pressure was too much to handle for the home side and Richard McKelvey was able to dot the ball down after great work from the front five. The conversion was good and extended Dromore’s lead to 11 points.
The home side struggled to get their hands on the ball in the opposition half largely thanks to Dromore’s good defence. A penalty from John Russell took the lead out to 2 converted tries. 22-8.
Michael Harshaw gathered before offloading to Black who pumped the legs to gain a few yards for Dromore.
Ryan Hughes was on his shoulder to keep the momentum going and he supplied the scoring pass to Sammy Russell who raced in under the posts from the Ards 10m line. The conversion from John Russell made it 29-8.
Dromore didn’t give their hosts a sniff with Aaron Stewart pinning them back with pin point kicking.
Dromore continued to play their expansive rugby and threatened to score more tries. John Cullen broke down the left and offloaded to John Russell who brought the play into the 22.
The ball was recycled well but Dromore couldn’t cross for their fifth try.
Dromore dominated the second half and had the upper hand in almost every department of the game.
The game evolved into one of free flowing rugby with both sides looking to throw the ball about.
A Dromore knock on gave Ards momentum and they made it up to the Dromore before losing possession.
A lovely move almost resulted in an Ards try but last ditch defending from Dromore sealed the victory with the referee blowing the final whistle. 29-8 final score.