Kilraughts road witnessed an epic encounter between Ballymoney Rugby I XV & Banbridge Rugby II XV Powerade Towns Cup

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Kilraughts road witnessed an epic encounter between two sides who made it extremely difficult for each other on Saturday. Ballymoney went through to the semi finals of their towns cup by defeating Banbridge 2nd XV 11-10 over 80 minutes.

The game kicked off and in the opening minutes of the game Chris Watson was forced off the pitch after acquiring an injury in warm up. Jason Taggart was the man to fill the gap on the wing and Nigel Nevin went to full back.

During initial exchanges Banbridge made their presence felt both around the park and at set piece, using their large pack to make good yardage. Ballymoney were not going to be pushed around and after some good spells of pressure were awarded with a penalty. James Cleland coolly slotted the kick between the post to take them into the lead.

Banbridge responded well and used their bulk in the midfield to penetrate the home side’s defence. Banbridge were rewarded for their competitive rugby with a try almost between the posts.

The home side tried to respond in kind however continuous infringements at the break down by Banbridge prevented Ballymoney from scoring although they were able to put over another penalty kick before the half time whistle.

The second half started and the game was anybody’s. Ballymoney made it theirs through early pressure and after some strong forward play in the tight Captain Scott Nelson was able to snipe across the line for Ballymoneys only points of the second half. It was enough to take the score to 11-10 in Ballymoney’s favour.

The rest of the game was a fierce encounter with each team knowing that a penalty in the right place could put either side infront; defences were careful but effective. Banbridge sustained a period of pressure deep in the Ballymoney 22, during which time a Ballymoney forward was sent to the sin bin. Banbridge opted for the scrum in an attempt to get the push over try. The Ballymoney men fronted up well and after a number of reset scrums Ballymoney were able to push Banbridge off their own ball and turnover possession.

The game was on a knife edge in the dieing moments, but Ballymoney were able to hold off and secure their place in the Semi Final of the Towns Cup. The club would like to thank their supporters for the big turn out on Saturday, this will hopefully be the turn around in Ballymoney’s season and back to the winning ways of the season past.

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