Randalstown U18 29 v Ballynahinch U18s 14 REPORT + SHOTS LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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U18 v Ballynahinch RFC
By Aine Doran
Randalstown Under 18s continued their winning form with a win against Ballynahinch at their first away league match of the season.

From the offset of the match the ref penalised Randalstown for indiscipline, allowing Ballynahinch two early opportunities to take a kick at goal, both of which were missed from similar positions. This gave Randalstown a much needed wakeup call that resulted in number 8 Shea McLaughlin dotting down to score the opening try on his first match back since being on duty with Ulster U18s. The difficult conversion close to the touchline was missed. Play then continued back and forth with both sides holding a strong defensive line. Ten minutes before half time full back Michael O’Connell found a gap to break through, off loading to McLaughlin who dashed 10m before passing to winger Ryan Magill, who allowed Stuart Dempster to touch down in the corner. Again the difficult conversion was missed.
The half finished 0-10 to Randalstown.
Randalstown’s form continued early into the second half with backs Josh Henry, O’Connell, Magill, Dempster, Steele, McCaw and McIvor all linking up off the set piece to put into action some of their handling moves practiced at training with O’Connell, eventually, touching down under the posts and then converting the try. The tough competition at lineouts and penalties to the Town at scrum time allowed Ballynahinch to dominate for part or the half, running in a try that allowed them an easy conversion. The Randalstown lineout then came into its own, with Captain Hampton putting pressure on the opposition number 2, allowing Conor Doran to steal the ball thanks to the strong lifting partnership of Ben Worsley and Curtis Gay. This next Town lineout displayed a strong maul that allowed them to gain key field position before McIvor passed the ball out to McCaw who called a move, allowing the backs to once again show off their impressive handling skills for Henry to dive into over the line in the corner. The resulting tough conversion was missed. Ballynahinch then got themselves back into the game, pressuring Randalstown’s defence despite forward Paddy Mitchell’s best efforts, rucking over to score a try and conversion. Unfortunately this came at the cost of two players for Randalstown. After several warnings for forwards discipline, ‘Hot ROD’ O’Dea was shown a yellow card leaving him to watch on from the side-lines alongside Worsley who injured his wrist. He was replaced by O’Rawe who once again impressed with his ability to play in both the back line and pack. After a strong talking to by their coaches, Randalstown ensured that was the last time Ballynahinch entered their half. Randalstown dominated the remainder of the match finishing off with a fantastic tap penalty move that allowed Gay to touch down over the white wash with Michael O’Connell kicking the conversion to make the final score 14-29.

The performance showed that there is still a lot to be improved but coaches were impressed with McCaw’s control of the game at 10. However, Man of the Match goes to Stephen Carey for his impressive work rate and strong performance throughout the whole game.
Special mention also to injured players Colm Griffin, Peter Longwell and Scott McClay for coming to support their team and assisting the coaches on the side-lines.
Team : 1. Curtis Gay; 2. Jack Hampton (c); 3. Ben Worsley; 4. Patrick Mitchell; 5 Conor Doran; 6 Ryan O’Dea; 7 Stephen Carey; 8 Shea McLaughlin; 9 Malachy McIvor; 10 Matthew McCaw; 11 Ryan Magill; 12 Stuart Dempster; 13 Josh Henry; 14 Sean O’Rawe; 15 Michael O’Connell; 16 Aaron Steele.
Coaches: Mark Hermin; Adam Service; Aine Doran; Garry Irwin; John Kennedy

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