Ballyclare RFC Notes: II XV LOSE AT COLERAINE Rugby Club

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Last Saturday Ballyclare 1st XV did not have a league game and unfortunately the wet conditions of the grounds led to the postponement of the games involving the Thirds and the Fourths at the Cloughan. Also the Under 19 match away to Coleraine was called off for the same reason which meant that the only game to be played was the Seconds v Coleraine 2nds in Junior 1 at the North West venue.
In Qualifying 2 there were wins for both Enniskillen and Omagh who are in first and second position respectively just above Ballyclare who are now third. This Saturday the clash at the Cloughan against Omagh is a vital one and no doubt ciach Bob Young will have the Clare men ready for the test. There will be a pre match lunch and it is hoped that a good crowd will be present for both this and the match as touch line support is much appreciated.
Coleraine 2nds 20 Ballyclare 2nds 16–Seconds skipper Jonny Birkmyre had a reasonably strong side assembled for the trip to Coleraine but said that he missed the work rate of both Ian Heaney and Noel Smith up front–he added that this was a game which his team could and probably should have won. Coleraine are just above the Clare boys in the league table but with several strong performances recently captain Birkmyre was fairly confident of getting a result prior to the game.The Seconds made a useful start and after only five minutes forced a penalty but Gillen was just off target from 25 metres. The pack kept up the pressure and on ten minutes had another penalty and this time it was slotted over by Ian Russell for a 3-0 lead. The Seconds pressed from lineouts and made ground but handling errors meant that they lost territory and allowed Coleraine to counter. After losing posession the ball was turned over and the home side got in for a try out wide to lead 5-3. Then one of the strong home centres raced through the Clare defence to score a try which was converted and make it 12-3. For the visitors a break by Purdy looked promising but he lacked support-however a penalty by Russell made it 12-6 at the interval.
Early in the second half another Russell penalty cut the lead to 12-9 and good work by the pack resulted in russell cutting back inside to get a try which he converted to give the Clare boys a 16-12 lead. But the home side followed up a kick ahead to go in for atry to regain the lead at 17-16. They added a late penalty to increase their lead to 20-16 which was the final score –a disappointing result for the Seconds. There had been good performances up front by Davy Tweed, Martin Todd and Ross Scott while in the backs Purdy, Gillen and Crawford all did well. This means that the Seconds now have won 4 and lost 3 games to date.
Fixtures for Saturday–1st XV v Omagh (home)-there will be a pre match lunch; Seconds and Thirds have no games scheduled; 4th XV v Armoy (home) 1st round McCambley Cup;

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