The fixture changed from Omagh due to an unplayable pitch, saw both teams serve up a highly entertaining game which had everything for the large crowd at the Sam Logan stadium.
Playing into the elements the students had the best of the early exchanges and after 10 minutes out half Whitcroft converted a Penalty from 40m out to give the home team the lead, despite some further good work especially out wide by Hall and Johnston the students could not trouble the score board.
Omagh then took control of the game, playing excellent rugby first in the tight and then on the flanks, forcing firstly penalties to be given away and then scoring two excellent trys. to take an 18 – 3 lead. With half time approaching the students had to dig deep to regain the initiative, and a great break out by full Back Lee Murphy who fed center Matt Hill, he then released John Henry, who made a run deep into the Omagh 22, quick recycling of the ball saw the second rows of Henly and Leonard make good pick and drives, forcing Omagh to concede a penalty which the Uni number 10 converted to make the score 18-6. Just before half time the university forced there way deep into the Omagh 22 but good defence forced big George Hall into touch and the referee blew for half time.
The elements now on there back and attacking Starke Park end, the students inspired by talisman Marty O’Neill went about dismantling the Omagh team in all aspects for a remarkable 30 minutes, Scrumhalf Winder sniped down the blind side, feeding no 8 Mike Dunlevey and the big man stormed into the Omagh defence, several pick and drives led by Ryan Eecock the live wire hooker, saw Omagh concede a penalty in front of the posts, Whitcroft slotted over to bring his tally to nine points.
Straight from the kick off Marty O’Neill made a fifty yard run beating off tackle after tackle, throwing in a few side steps for good measure before being hauled down just short of the Omagh try line, a great clear out by the supporting back row of Ollie Millar, Dunlevey and John Dillon saw the powerful Jamie Wilkinson pick and drive over the line to score a vital try, Whitcroft kicked the difficult conversion, the score now 18-16 to Omagh.
Relentlessly the students hunted any Omagh player in possession, and Whitcroft expertly spiralled to all corners of the Omagh half in a master class of the out of hand kicking art. Pressure told again and the visitors offered up another penalty which the Uni number 10 slotted over to see the students take a 19-18 lead.
5 minutes later a good passage of play which stretched the visitors from wing to wing then some forceful drives from the pack saw excellent field position rewarded by a Whitcroft drop goal to stretch the students lead, not finished yet further pressure from the hard working Wilkinson saw Miller who covered every blade of grass on the pitch, take and give with scrumhalf Winder, who when tackled saw two Omagh forwards go off there feet and concede another penalty. Alan Whitcroft converted from the difficult angle to bring his match tally to 20 points.
To their credit Omagh never gave up and tried to create something in the final minutes but they could not penetrate the home defence again. A great final counter saw Hall open his legs showing his class, to almost score in the corner but Omagh scrambled well in defence and denied him a reward for his hard afternoons work. The referee blew up shortly after to end a highly entertaining game, the final score 25-18 to the home team.