Powerade Towns Cup: Ballymoney 16 – 7 Omagh

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Saturday saw Ballymoney play their first Towns Cup game of the 2009-10 Season. From a frosty morning the sun had come out and made for perfect conditions for playing a fast paced, flowing rugby game. This was not to be the case against the Qualifying 2 side Omagh, who meant business from the start of the game. Ballymoney were still able to have their way and eventually ran out as 16-7 victors.

The game kicked off and it was clear that Ballymoney were going to be put under pressure from the start, a dropped catch at kick-off, a spilled ball at the back of the scrum and quick feet from the Omagh back row allowed them to cross the line for the first points of the game. Ballymoney were caught shell shocked at Omagh continued to build on this by piling pressure on any possession Ballymoney gained. Big hits in the centre and effective tackling from the Omagh men prevented Ballymoney from fast ball which didn’t allow Ballymoney to run their flowing style of rugby they usually love to play in these conditions.

Eventually the referee caught wise to a couple of tactics within the Omagh defence and the penalties began to come. Captain James Cleland was able to slot a couple of shots between the posts to take the game to 6-7 at half time.

Ballymoney came into the second half and began to wake up and secure ball for their talented backline. A number of breaks from the Ballymoney back line almost put Ballymoney across the line, but the final phase of play was disappointing on a number of occasions and no points were to be scored.

Omagh’s defence was strong throughout but after leaking another penalty through, hands in the ruck Ballymoney were able to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Ballymoney pushed hard but the harder Ballymoney pushed the better the Omagh defence came. It wasn’t till the last minutes of the game that Ballymoney were able to pile the pressure on the Omagh side deep within the their 22. Pick and drive after pick and drive brought Ballymoney closer and closer to the try line. In the dieing seconds of the game Aaron “ The Rampage” Ramage barrelled over the line from the back of a ruck guided through an entourage of Omagh defenders by his wing men in the front row Alex Hueston and Davy Watson.

James Cleland commented.

“ No Cup game is ever easy, especially when you are against a side like Omagh who will scrap for ever single yard. They played well today and credit has to be given were it is due. We are happy with the win and look forward to the next round.”

Report: Dave Watson

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