Banbridge RFC Notes: I XV 43 v Instonians RFC I XV 0 + U19 I XV 17 v Randalstown RFC U19 I XV 7: Reports LIVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Bann score six in much needed win BANBRIDGE 1STs 43 Instonians 0 February 9, 2013

A bonus point win over Instonians gave Banbridge the mid-season boost of which they were sorely in need.

This may only have been an Ulster League game and against an Instonians side going through a re-building phase. But after four successive set-backs since Christmas, two in the Ulster League and two in the All-Ireland, the result and the performance will have pleased coach Daniel Soper, especially in advance of this weekend’s trip to City of Derry.

Apart from the win, Soper will have been impressed with the form of his younger players, with out-half Adam Doherty, winger Matthew McDonald, and replacement hooker Peter Cromie all making telling contributions. All three qualify for U-19 rugby, but while their age-grade team-mates were beating Randalstown on the adjacent pitch, they were playing their part on the bigger stage as Bann ran in six unanswered tries.

With Rifle Park unplayable, the game had been switched to Banbridge Academy’s grounds and the excellent playing surface there allowed both teams to run the ball at every opportunity. If the final scoreline reflected unfairly on the visitors’ contribution to the action, it was because their attack lacked the cutting edge to capitalise on a reasonable share of territory.

Doherty kicked off the scoring in the 10th minute, supporting a threequarter move to outflank the Inst defence and touch down. Ian Porter added the conversion and his penalty eight minutes later took the home side’s tally into double figures.

Porter’s neat reverse flip pass was collected by Chris Allen and the lock raced from the “22” to touch down under the posts, the scrum half’s conversion a formality. Despite Jonny Murphy’s yellow card for a technical offence Bann continued to have the edge and prop Michael Cromie‘s support work got its reward just before interval when he touched down at the corner flag.

With centre Jonny Little retiring injured at the start of the second half, McDonald moved into the centre with James Andrews taking his place on the wing. And it was McDonald’s scything break through the Instonians midfield that set up the fourth try, with his perfectly timed long pass leaving Andrew Morrison with a run-in from the “22”. Porter added the extras with a conversion from the touchline.

Ten minutes from the end Doherty intercepted on halfway to find his way clear to the posts for the fifth try. And when Peter Cromie turned over ruck ball on his “22”, flanker Stephen Irvine broke away before sending Morrison off on a 60 metre run to the Instonians line, with Porter’s fifth conversion from six attempts concluding the scoring.

Bann team:- Gregg Taylor, John Porter, Andrew Morrison, Jonny Little, Matthew McDonald, Adam Doherty, Ian Porter, Jonny Weir, Jonny Murphy, Michael Cromie, Chris Allen, Simon McKinstry (Capt), Stephen Irvine, Dale Carson, Jonny Graham. Replacements:- Peter Cromie, James McCrum, Philip Jordan, Andrew Kirkwood, James Andrews.

U19s finish league campaign with win BANBRIDGE U19s 17 Randalstown 7 February 9, 2013

Banbridge U19s went into their final league game knowing that Larne, the only team to have beaten them this season, had already won the league. With the home pitches unplayable, the team travelled up to the Banbridge Academy pitches to play their first game in over a month. Their rustiness showed and it took 15 minutes to finally break down the Randalstown side, with scrum-half Jason Gribbon picking up from the back of a ruck and sprinting to dive in at the corner flag, adding a superb conversion for good measure.

Just before half time Captain Ryan Dennison picked up and bulldozed his way over the line to give his side a 12-0 lead at the change around.

Five minutes into the second half Ulster U-18 out-half Macauley Little scored on his return from a six month injury layoff. He looked as if he had never been away and his return couldn’t come at a better time with the U19 Cup and Nutty Krust Tournament just round the corner.

Randalstown got a consolation try midway through the half but they never threatened to overhaul the home side, whose win leaves them runners-up in the Ulster Premier League.

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