On Saturday Ballymoney 4’s made the long journey to Cavan to play in the semi final of the McCambley Cup and after a tense battle earned a hard fought 3 – 6 victory.
The home side played with whatever wind advantage there was and immediately put the visitors under a lot of pressure. However the ‘Money boys were in no mood to allow their defence to be breached and excellent tackling from the entire team ensured that their line remained intact.
Cavan were applying a lot of pressure only to lose good field positions by infringing at the breakdown. As the half progressed the Ballymoney forwards were beginning to get into their stride and from a lineout on the home 22 they rumbled the ball to the home tryline only for the ball to be knocked on at the crucial moment.
The homeside took the lead when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts about 20 yards out after a Ballymoney player was adjudged to have interfered with the scrumhalf at the base of a ruck. This spurred the visitors on as they immediately applied their own pressure in search of the opening score. They were eventually rewarded when J Trainor slotted over a penalty after Cavan were penalised at the breakdown.
Cavan went close to scoring after a Ballymoney player had his kick charged down and had it not been for an excellent cover tackle from Jarvis Trainor who prevented a certain try. This left the halftime score at 3 -3
The 2nd half commenced with Ballymoney determined to use whatever elements they had to their full advantage. The forwards were edging the battle up front and the backs were showing that they also had an attacking option and not just a well marshalled defence.
From one excellent backline movement W Pearson chipped his opposite number and picked the ball up on the bounce only to be tackled inches short of the try line. Ballymoney were now encamped on the home 22 and were unfortunate not to score the opening try on at least a couple of occasions. But to their credit Cavan were not going to allow their tryline to be crossed either.
However they could not rebuff this sustained pressure legally and were eventually penalised at a breakdown 30 yards out left of the posts. J Trainor duly converted this penalty to give the ‘Toon’ men the lead much to the delight of the spectators and players alike. With about ten minutes left to play this set up a tense and nerve wracking finish as Cavan threw everything they had at the visitors in search of a score. However the 4’s were not going to be found wanting as they held on for a famous victory and a place in this years final.
Captain Waide was clearly satisfied with a hard earned but deserved victory.
“It was clear that this was going to be a day for few try scoring situations and any penalty opportunities would have to be taken and credit to Jarvis for keeping his nerve when we needed him. I am extremely proud of all the players and we can look forward to the final on the 17th April. But the job is only half done as we want to come home with the cup”