Ballymena RFC: I XV 10 v Malone RFC I XV 43 + II XV 27 v Grosvenor RFC I XV 32 + IV XV 66 v Lurgan RFC II XV 7 + V XV 45 v Ballymoney IV XV 3 – REPORTS HERE

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Ballymena 1’s travelled to Malone 1’s in the Senior Cup and were beaten 43-10

Malone started the quicker of the two teams and within 3 minutes took the lead when they turned the braid men over and the Malone full back scored out wide. The conversion was added, 7-0.
Malone got back on the score board 5 minutes later when their number 8 barged his way over the line. The Malone 10 added the extras, 14-0.
Ballymena started to get back into the game and when Rory Drysdale broke out of his own half he found support out wide in the form of Mike McKeever who was released to score out wide. The conversion was missed 14-5.
Ballymena confidence was growing and after a long period of possession they were awarded a penalty for an infringement on the ground by the Malone forwards. Rory Drysdale kick just went wide of the posts. The traffic was all one way now with the Ballymena forwards making good ground. Ballymena where deep in the Malone half but unfortunally the final pass wasn’t there. Ballymena were awarded another penalty and this time Rory Drysdale sent the ball 60 metres for touch in the corner. The resulting line was won by Ballymena and the forward recycled the ball well but they couldn’t find their way through a determined Malone defence. In the dying minutes of the half Malone scored against the run of play through their number 8. The conversion was added, half time 21-5.

Ballymena started the second half strongly and soon Malone was reduced to 14 men when one of their forwards was yellow carded. Ballymena kicked the ball deep into the Malone half for a line out. At the line out David Whann rose the highest and after a couple of recycled phases David Whann found himself crossing the line for a try. The conversion was missed, 21-10.
Malone was soon back to full strength and a well worked move seen their full back breaking through some week tackling to score in the corner. The conversion was missed, 26-10.
The momentum had again swung back to Malone who turned over Ballymena to score a break away try to the right of he posts. The conversion was missed, 31-10.
The braid men rallied but unfortunally they were let down by the final pass. Ballymena had committed to an attack and when the ball was over turned they couldn’t set the defensive line and Malone scored through there Outhalf. The conversion was missed, 36-10.
With the final play of the game saw Malone add to the score when their flanker was pushed over the line. The conversion was added, final score 43-10.

Kirkpatrick, Taggart, Cundell, Ireland, Rea, Smith, Macintosh, Hamilton, McCrudden, Bailey, Foster, McKeever, Montgomery, Johnston, Drysdale, Young, Ferguson, Whann, Patterson, McMullan

Ballymena 2’s travelled to Grosvenor 1’s in the Junior Cup and were narrowly defeated 32-27

Grosvenor started the stronger of the two teams and with 3 minutes where given their first chance of points when Ballymena gave away a penalty in front of the posts. The Grosvenor 10 slotted the kick over to open the scoring, 3-0.
Ballymena got themselves back into the game through the boot of Michael Smith who made Grosvenor pay when they gave away a penalty to the right hand side of the posts, 3-3.
Ballymena where now starting to find space and on 18 minutes winger Mathew Banks found space to score in the corner. Michael Smith missed the conversion, 3-8.
The momentum was with the braid men who where camped on the Grosvenor try line. A strong drive from Ballymena saw them cross the chalk line but the referee judged that the ball was held up. With 30 minutes of the half gone a well worked move saw Michael Smith sprint free to score out wide. The conversion was missed, 3-13. On the stroke of half time Grosvenor where awarded another penalty but this time the ball struck the upright. Half time 3-13.

The second half started the same as the first half with the braid men giving away an early penalty. The resulting kick from the half way line fell short. Ballymena went on the attack but a quick turnover saw Grosvenor score a break away try under the posts. The Grosvenor Outhalf added the extras, 10-13.
This score seemed to breath life back into the home side who started to get more into this game. It was the home side who scored next when a team move opened up space for them to score under the posts. The conversion was added, 17-13.
The momentum was now with Grosvenor who extended their lead when their winger crossed the line. The conversion was missed, 22-13.
At the restart Ballymena rallied and after some great phases second row Mark Foster gave the braid men a life line when he crashed over the line to score. Michael Smith added the conversion, 22-20.
With 20 minutes to play Grosvenor where gifted a try after some soft tackling from the braid men. The Grosvenor 10 added the extras, 29-20.
After the restart Ballymena’s disaplin gave Grosvenor another chance of 3 points. The Grosvenor dispatched the ball between the posts, 32-20.
Ballymena through caution to the wind in search of a try and they were rewarded when 19 year old Paul Rainey scored for the braid men. Michael Smith added the 2 points as the referee blow up for full time. Final score 32-27.

Team- James Carson, Andrew Cundell, George Hargy, Mark Foster, Shane McBurney, Willie McKay, James Carmichael, John Nicholl, Mikey Smith, Paul Rainey, James, McKee, Mathew Banks, Robbie Magreer

Ballymena 4’s hosted Lurgan 2’s in their opening league game of the season and won 66-7

Ballymena took to the pitch full of confidence after a long and hard preseason and this proved to be the difference between the two teams. The first points came from a Ballymena line out at the half way line. Ballymena secured the ball and were able to maul the ball over the line with Alan Hughes scoring the first of his three tries. Jonny Small added the conversion, 7-0.
A few minutes later Ballymena were camped on the Lurgan try line but the attack came to an end with a knock on. From the scrum Ballymena won the ball against the head and number 8 Mark Moffett picked up to charge over the line. Jonny Small missed the conversion, 12-0.
Ballymena’s third try came when Mark Moffett broke a tackle and passed the ball to charging prop Rodney Hall who was stopped by a brave tackle from the defending full back. Rodney was able to pop the ball to Alan Hughes who crossed the line for a try. The conversion was missed, 17-0.
Lurgan went looking for their first points of the game and would have had them if it wasn’t for a great tackle from full back Karl Morris taking is man into touch. From the line out Ballymena recycled the ball up to the half way mark before a great pass from hooker Adrian Hayes sent Rodney Hall through the middle and again he was stopped just short by the Lurgan full back. The support was quick to get to the tackle and after a few ball recycles Rodney Hall got his well deserved try. Jonny Small added the extra points, 24-0.
At the stroke of half time Lurgan was reduced to 14 men when their number 8 was sin binned for repeat offences on the ground. Half time 24-0

At the start of the second half Ballymena made their extra man count when the the two centres linked up well with a couple of great passes before releasing Mathew Ervine to score in the corner. The conversion was missed, 29-0.
Ballymena were dominating play and territory and it wasn’t long before they added to the score. Alan Hughes scored his third try when he sold the Lurgan defence a dummy to run 20 metres to score out wide. The conversion was missed, 34-0.
From the restart Ballymena scored the try of the game when flanker Donny Mckendry received the ball deep in his own half but a strong run and 4 hand offs shaw him run 70 metres to score. Jonny Small added the conversion, 41-0.
The braid men extended their lead when Jonny Small was put into space to score to the right hand side of the posts. Jonny added the conversion, 48-0.
A few minutes later Ballymena had the Lurgan try line in sight again and this time a mismatch in size saw centre Timmy Hanna go through the Lurgan scrum half to score. The conversion was missed, 53-0.
Ballymena were getting stronger as this half went on and soon scored again when the ball was passed out wide to to leave an overlap for Alan Hughes to put prop Adam Smith in for a try. The conversion was missed, 58-0.
Ballymena final points of the match came when the forward overturned the ball in a ruck in their own half. The ball was fired out to Jonny Small who chipped over the rushing defence and was able to collect the his own ball to touch down for his second try. He added the extras, 65-0.
In the closing minutes Lurgan got on the score board when their centre found a gap to score under the post. The conversion was added and the game ended 65-7.

Team- Rodney Hall, Adrian Hayes, Adam Smith, Mark Ferguson, Alan Hughes, Donny Mckendry, Gary Donnelly, Mark Moffett, Maury McDowell, Jonny Small, Mathew Ervine, Timmy Hanna, Jonny Mckeown, Brian Mitchell, Karl Morris

Ballymena 5’s travelled to Ballymoney 4’s and won 45-3

Ballymoney started the stronger of the 2 sides and soon had the braid men pinned back in their 22. The Ballymena defence stood strong and cleared their lines. 10 minutes into the game Ballymena got their first penalty of the game but Ben Gillan failed to add the points. Soon after the restart Ballymoney was reduced to 14 men when the tight head prop went off injured. The first points of the game came 25 minutes in when Ballymena had a scrum on the Ballymoney 5 metre line. From the scrum the scrum half feed the ball to centre Aubrey Crawford who was returning to action after 2 years out. The Ballymoney defence could not stop him and he scored under the post. Jason Mckeown converted, 0-7.
Ballymena got their second try after a well worked backs move released wing Denver Suiters to score. The conversion was missed 0-12.
Just before half time Ballymoney were awarded a penalty which they kicked, half time 3-12.

In the second half Ballymena stepped up the pace of the game and made their extra man advantage count. The Ballymoney team started to fade and had no answer for the braid men’s attacks. The first score of the second half came from Ian Caldwell who drove over from 5 metres out. The conversion was added 3-19.
Shortly after the restart Ben Gillan broke through the centre to send Paul McBride under the posts. Jason Mckeown added the extras, 3-26.
A few minutes later Ben Gillan found space again but this time he had the legs to go under the post himself. The conversion was added, 3-33.
The flood gates were well and truly opened and this time the Ballymena forwards wanted on the score board. From a line out Tabsy Robinson was driven over by his pack. The conversion was missed, 3-38. The final score of the game came from winger Adam Swan who rounded the defence to score under the posts. Jason Mckeown added the 2 points to bring the score to 3-45.

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