Ballymoney got back to winning ways with a hard fought victory over Donaghadee at Kilraghts Road on Saturday. The game was played in excellent conditions for mid-October, and Ballymoney hoped to use this Junior Cup second round game to regain some form ahead of next weeks league clash against Clogher Valley. Donaghadee, however, were in no mood to roll over for their Qualifying One opponents and forced Ballymoney into defence for most of the second half.
After some early Donaghadee pressure, the home side got off to a flying start in the first half. The Ballymoney backline were causing considerable problems for the Qualifying Two outfit, with outhalf Cormac McCartney and his two centres making several linebreaks in the first half hour. This pressure resulted in a quick accumulation of points with three tries coming through the backline, winger Chris Watson scoring two tries after some useful footwork and impresive strength (though in the eyes of this commentator Watson still has considerable gymwork to do). Ballymoney’s other try then was scored through a catch and drive with stand-in hooker Peter Irvine guilty of hiding at the back of the maul.
A rare Donaghadee attack toward the end of the half resulted in a harsh sinbinning for Irvine for diving over the ball. Dee opted to play the resultant penalty and forced their way over before the half was out to register a converted try near the posts.
The second half then continued throughout where the first had left off, with considerable pressure coming from the men from the Ards peninsula. Ballymoney were guilty of spoiling their own game as well though, with a considerable error count before the half was out. Donaghadee’s two tries in the second half came after considerable periods of forward pressure which resulted in the Ballymoney defence being stretched. Indeed Ballymoney were lucky to hold out to inflict, what was said to be, Donaghadee’s first defeat of the season.
Ballymoney Coach Taggart said after the game, “We only played thirty minutes of rugby today, and the back row produced some fine forraging in the loose, but all credit to Donaghadee for responding so well.”
Ballymoney would like to thank Green Thumb for supporting the Pre-match lunch on Saturday and would also like to encourage anybody interested in attending or indeed sponsoring a Lunch to get in touch with the club directly on 028 2766 2991. Both firsts and seconds are away to Clogher Valley this week.