The U-13s played Ballynahinch away last Wednesday night in difficult stormy conditions. Captain Charlie Jones opted to play with the strong wind in the first half and Bann started well with an early try. However the well supported ‘Hinch team weren’t about to take that lying down and they set about exerting strong forward pressure. Some poor Bann tackling allowed ‘Hinch to score two tries and turning around at half time on the wrong side of a 10-5 score line did not bode well.
Playing into a gale with driving rain the Bann forwards began to move the ball through close support and mauling. Alastair McDowell, Charlie Wright and William Cousins in particular worked very hard to make ground and after some concerted effort Bann were rewarded with a try to tie the game at 10-10.
At this stage ‘Hinch started to use the wind extremely well and kept Bann in their own half for the final 20 minutes of the game, with relief only coming sporadically through rumbling moves from the larger forwards. Jack Myles was most unfortunate to be denied a try after touching down at an angle that didn’t favour the referee’s positioning.
‘Hinch made a number of dangerous drives to the line but were denied by strong tackling from Jack Myles, Jack McKinstry, Haydn Kerr and Matthew Neill, with Jamie Mullen saving a certain try with a well-timed tackle on his own goal line. Alexander Brown has to be congratulated for stepping in to prop against a far bigger front row and putting in a strong performance. Peter Sleith also put in a number of telling tackles.
The final score remained 10-10, but this felt like a victory given the challenge of defending against a bigger pack with many substitutes throughout a 20 minute siege on our goal line away from home.