Sat 9th Nov, 2:30pm. Ballymoney 15 – 0 Donaghadee
Ballymoney through to Semi Finals
by Andy Borthwick
BRFC beat Donaghadee 15-0 to process to the semi-final of the Ulster junior Cup
On another wet day at Kilraughts Road, Ballymoney welcomed Donaghadee in the last eight of the Millar McCall Wylie Ulster Junior Cup.
The game starts with Ballymoney playing towards the clubhouse, and immediately the tone was set.It would be a heavy forward-dominated encounter, with little to separate the two sides.
James Campbell was first on the board, with a penalty on 5 mins after a scrum offence. He was on the board again at 9 mins, and missed one on 14 mins as the pressure was starting to pay dividends.
Ballymoney continued to pressure the Dee line with a huge maul progressing some 25m into the Dee 22. After several phases and pressure to the Dee line Ballymoney were awarded a penalty, but nothing further, to the dismay of players and crowd alike.
As the half came to a close, two further Campbell penalties made it 12-0 to Ballymoney. Adrian Graham came on for Dave Campbell at half time, looking to get more reward for all of the effort so far.
But the second half was to continue in the same way as the first. Another ruck offence gave James Campbell another 3 points on 46 minutes. this time the referee chose further action and sin binned the Dee 8.
Dave Watson came on for Peter Irvine shortly afterwards, but he was also unable to change the pattern. One further missed penalty attempt on 56 mins was all that remained to trouble the scorecard. Final score, then, was 15-0.
This was generally a hard fought game up front with a lot of hard work being carried out around the fringes and in the loose. There were some highlights with some attacking moments from the Toon back line – but mostly it was the strength in defence when Dee had the ball that gave the finest moments.
Man of the Match was James Campbell for his positional kicking and strike rate of 5 from 7 off the kicking tee.
Coaches Jason Taggart and Neil Beddow thanked the lads for the best defensive and disciplined display of the season, limiting Donaghadee to one shot at goal in 80 mins of rugby. “Ballymoney worked exceptionally hard in this forward led battle with some superb positional kicking by James Campbell and his fellow back line that kept the Dee on the back foot for the most of the game.”
Next week sees the return of league rugby, and a tough trip to Portadown for the 1st XV.