Instonians' Paul Pritchard happy to mark key All Ireland League appearance with win
It was a sixth consecutive bonus point win for Inst that maintains their four-point cushion at the top of the table.
“I wasn’t really aware it was 175, it probably sounds like a lot, but it doesn’t feel like too many, I’m really happy to get to that and more importantly we got the bonus point win,” said Pritchard. “Dungannon had a gameplan and they stuck to it, they made it a bit difficult for us and we probably didn’t get into our flow as much as we wanted to.
“The main thing for us...we know we let ourselves down defensively at Wanderers and we have maybe been guilty a couple of times this season of conceding more points than we think is acceptable as a group.
“We put in a lot of work in the classroom and on the pitch this week so to keep them to nil for about 70 minutes then to get a penalty try against us at the end, we’re really happy with that.
“The main thing for us was we got the win and we set standards for ourselves defensively and that was one that we were keen to follow on.”
Despite a maximum 30 points for six games, Prichard still feels there is more to come from Inst.
“I think for us if we can get both sides of the ball clicking than we’d be happy,” he said. “I think we are never going to go ‘that is the pinnacle’, that is where we are, we always want to improve.
“Defensively we were outstanding now next week we have to look at our attack, that is probably the joy of it...we always have something to work on.
“Defensively 10 out of 10 but we didn’t get into our flow and the challenge is to get both of those right.”
Inst have won history-making 24 consecutive games with bonus points since returning to the AIL.
“Teams are coming to us and it is probably in their mind that they want to stop us getting a bonus point, which means they have already lost mentally so I am happy for that to be the target,” he said. “If teams want to stop us getting a winning bonus point that’s fine...as long as we win.”
Tries from hooker Oli Clarke, Bradley McNamara and Gary Dillon all converted by Ritchie McMaster gave Inst a 21-0 half-time lead.
McNamara crossed twice in the second half with McMaster converting both before Dungannon’s late score.
In the other Ulster derby in the division, Rainey beat Belfast Harlequins 29-7 to climb to fifth in the table.
In Division 1A, Ballynahinch and leaders Clontarf fought out a 24-24 draw at Ballymacarn Park.
Conor Rankin, Conor McKee, Cormac Izuchukwu got the Hinch tries, while Rankin kicked three conversions and a penalty, however, Dylan Donnellan’s late unconverted try for Clontarf tied the scores.
Niall Carville’s late unconverted try secured City of Armagh a losing bonus point in a 25-18 home defeat to UCC.
Queen’s picked up two points in a 29-27 defeat at UCC.
All three Ulster clubs – Ballymena, Banbridge and Malone – lost on the road in Division 2A.
Clogher Vally made it six bonus point wins from six in 2C with a 29-15 win over Bangor, Omagh lost to Bruff.