Ballymena RFC Information: I XV 37 v Galwegians 14. AAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO – REPORT LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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On a perfect autumn afternoon Ballymena hosted Galwegians in the first AIL game of the season and won 37-14rfc ballymena

This tie was the pick of the opening AIL 2A fixtures with both teams sights set on promotion. Galwegians fresh from a double victory over AIL 1B contenders Buccaneers in league and cup travelled to Ballymena with a strong squad including several Connaught Academy players.
Ballymena took to field full of confidence after victories over Harlequins and Dungannon. From the kick off Ballymena used the perfect conditions to throw the ball about and play a fast, exciting type of rugby. Ballymena were soon rewarded when a great team move was finished by flanker Michael Entwhistle. Timmy Small missed the conversion from the touch line, 5-0. Galwegians who were struggling with the braid men’s pace got themselves back in the game after several penalties given away by Ballymena at the scrum. Galweigins kicked for the corner and from the line out they broke the braid men’s defence to score to the right of he post. The conversion was missed, 5-5.
Ballymena retook the lead several minutes later when they were awarded a penalty in their own half. Timmy Small pointed at the posts and the resulting kick was dispatched between the uprights, 8-5. Ballymena were starting to put the visitors on the back foot and with 20 minutes of the game gone Ballymena extended their lead. This time it was prop Bryan Young who crossed the line when Ballymena stretched the Galwegians defence. Timmy Small added the conversion, 15-5. For the next 10 minutes Ballymena found themselves under pressure as Galwegians used their much bigger pack to set a platform in the scrum. From this they were able to attack the braid men but their defence stood strong and they kept pushing Galwegians back. Galwegians finally added to the their total when they added a penalty after a strong scrum, 15-8. With the first half running out Ballymena launched another attack and after great hands by the backs Jordon Foster was released to score in the corner. This was is 6th try in 3 games by the speedster. The conversion was missed, half time 20-8.
Ballymena started the second half the way they ended the first but this time it’s was full back Timmy Small who showed great pace and footwork to cross the chalk mark. The conversion was missed, 25-8. A few minutes later Galwegians reduced the deficit when again they were awarded a penalty bringing the score to 25-11. From the restart strong running from Mathew Rea and Adrian Hamilton got Ballymena within touching distance of the try line. Last ditched tackling kept Ballymena out but it did cost Galwegians a player when a yellow card was brandished for foul play.
Ballymena where now dominating all aspects of the game and it was from a line out steal that they set up their next try. The ball was won by Mathew Rea who tapped it down to Dave Shanahan. The ball was whipped out wide but Galwegians covered the move well until the ball was moved back inside were Connor Smith crash ball couldn’t be stopped. Connor’s try sealed the bonus point. Timmy Small added the extras, 32-11. Galwegians now back to full strength went on the attack again but never looked as if they were going to break the Ballymena defence down. 10 minutes from time Galwegians were awarded another penalty which the full back added, 32-14. With full time approaching Ballymena went on one final attack and this time a quick thinking man of the match Glen Bailey chipped the ball over the defence for Callum Patterson to race onto and score. The conversion was missed and the game finished 37-14. This was a great performance from a young Ballymena side with plenty of skills and determination setting a good platform to build towards their promotion goal.

Team- Bryan Young, John Andrew, Adrian Kirkpatrick, David Whann, Connor Smith, Mathew Rea, Michael Entwhistle, Adrian Hamilton, Dave Shanahan, Glen Bailey, Jamie Smith, Mike McKeever, Ricky Andrew, Jordon Foster, Tim Small

Ballymena 3’s travelled to City of Derry and won 46-12

After the disappointments of lasts week defeat to Rainey Ballymena set off knowing that they were heading to one of the hardest grounds to get a result in. With a few changes to the squad after injuries the selected 15 set about getting the first points of the season.
Ballymena got off to a great start when a strong run from Donny Mckendry drew in the covering defence enabling him to release full back Rory Smith to crash over for his first try. Maury McDowell kicked the conversion, 0-7. Derry got right back in the game after some poor defending from the braid men to score under the posts. The conversion was added, 7-7. With 20 minutes of the game gone and both sides showing good defence it was a moment of magic from Rory Smith which saw him chip the defence before racing to score under the posts. Rory added his own conversion, 7-14. Ballymena where now starting to stamp their authority on the game and after great hands by the backs, centre Alan Smith found space to run from his own half and score under the posts. Alan added his own conversion, 7-21. Ballymena went on the attack again from the restart and winger Warren Beattie was unlucky when some last ditched tackling held him up over the try line. From the 5 metre scrum the Ballymena forwards worked hard to secure the ball before Scrumhalf Jamie Cunningham released Alan Smith to score his second try. The conversion was missed, half time 7-26.
At the start of the second half Ballymena had a try from Jonny McKeown disallowed as the referee could not see the grounding of the ball. After a period of rugby being played in he centre of the pitch and a lot of errors from both sides the game again burst into life when full back Rory Smith sprinted down the wing before popping the ball back inside. The ball found the charging Alan Smith who scored his third try of the game after a big hand off on the defending full back. The conversion was missed, 7-31. Derry had a spell of possession and were deep in the Ballymena half when the hard working forwards of Ballymena turned the ball over. The ball was cleared by Alan Smith who’s electric pace saw him speed past the Derry defence to collect the ball and score under the posts. An out of breath Alan missed the conversion, 7-36. Derry rallied and went on the attack again. They were awarded a scrum 5 metres out from the braids men try line but a great tackle on the Derry number 8 saw him get overturned. The quick footed scrum half raced the length of the pitch to score. The conversion was missed, 7-41. Derry stuck at it and were rewarded with a breakaway try when 5 minutes from the end. The conversion was missed, 12-41. The final score of the game came from the restart when Derry made a mess of the catch allowing flanker Donny Mckendry to pick up the ball and power his way over the line. The conversion was missed. Final score 12-46.

Team- Adrian Hayes, Peter Taylor, Jarod Bowes, Mark Ferguson, Donny Mckendry, Cory Millar, Gary Donnelly, A.Mckeown, Jamie Cunningham, Maury McDowell, Warren Deans, Alan Smith, Jonny Mckeown, Warren Beattie, Rory Smith

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