BALLYCLARE Rugby Club Notes: I XV 17 v BANGOR Rugby Club I XV 33: Junior Cup + IV XV v Larne Rugby Club III XV In Pictures

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Ballyclare Rugby Club 1st XV suffered a 33-17 defeat to Bangor on Saturday in the Junior Cup. Bangor were relegated from Qual.1 last season where they did not win a game but have a new coach and strengthened their team. The Clare will have to play them in the league and they will prove tough opposition for most sides this year. Willie Logan`s side were missing flanker Nigel Moore injured last week and lock Rob Boyd out in New Zealand to see the World Cup including that great Ireland win on Sunday over Italy. They were replaced by Kyle Norton and Graeme McKinstry making a welcome return from injury last season. The team gave second half run outs to David Crawford and J.J.Baird their first of the season and all these players acquitted themselves well enough to be regular starters. In the first half the Bangor pack dominated long periods of play and powered over for four tries. However the visitors kept plugging away and eventually Gary Weatherup got in for a try which was converted by Collie Morrow who also kicked a penalty. But the Clare side was too often in bother and were penalised on no fewer than fourteen occasions and had to play for ten minutes a man down when Morrow was harshly sin binned. All of this meant that Bangor were well clear at the interval by 28-10.
CLICK HERE FOR IV XV Pictures v Larne III XV courtesy of

In the second half play was more evenly contested though Bangor did force another score but the Clare hit back with a try by Chris Coburn converted by fly half Lawther and later Morrow was unlucky when he had a score disallowed. When Morrow was binned Byers came in at scrum half and did well. Baird showed a good appetite for the game when he came on in the second half. Up front Norton and Skipper Logan both got through a lot of work but overall Bangor on the day were that bit stronger and deserved to progress to the next round.
Ballyclare–G.Byers;G.Weatherup,J.reid,J.Jackson,G.King ,N.Lawther,C.Morrow; A.Boyd,A.Wylie,M.Finlay; G.McKinstry,M.Crothers; K.Norton,W.Logan (capt),C.Coburn; Subs-D.Crawford,J.J.Baird.
Fourths keep winning
The Clare Fourths captained this year by Neil Reynolds look like dominating the Minor League and on Saturday went to the Glynn and destroyed Larne 3rds by 67-7. The game was as good as over at the interval with the Fourths leading 31-7.In fact it was blown up 15 minutes early in the second half with the Clare boys in total control. The tries were scored by Harry Gaston (2), Cavan Watson (2) who was nominated as man of the match,Gareth Smith,Neil Reynolds ,John Wasson,John McDonald and Bruce Logan who got his first try in seven years following a long lay off. Artie Campbell slotted over a drop goal and Wasson converted all the tries apart from one . The outstanding players were Logan and of course Watson plus Wasson.
UNDER 19 DEFEAT–The Clare Under19 team last year won their league but on Saturday in the first league game of this season went down 17-3 at home to Randalstown. According to coach Robin Byers the team continues to miss tackles at key times and this allowed a useful Randalstown side to score three tries and add one conversion. The home points came from a penalty by Stephen Beasant but the visitors always deserved the victory.
Saturday Fixtures–1st Xv have no game. 2nd XV v Omagh 2nds (home); 4th XV v P.S.N.I.2nds (away); Under 19 XV v Ballymoney (away).

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