Limavady v Ballynahinch 2
Saturday, 20th October 2018
Saturday saw the return of cup rugby as Limavady took on Ballynahinch 2nds in the Quarter Final of the Millar, McCall, Wylie Junior Cup. As they went into this game without eight of their first choice players, on paper, this would seem to be a step too far. However a fantastic performance saw them lose narrowly to a top notch side. Ballynahinch have won this cup in each of the last two years and were therefore keen to make it three in a row.
Limavady were first to get some points on the board when they were awarded an early penalty. Peter Wilson converted to put the home side in front and from this point forward the advantage alternated with one side to the other taking the lead. ‘Hinch’s number 8, Gareth Gill, scored the first try of the game. Limavady’s Jim McCartney, playing his first game for the Ist XV this season responded for the home side by way of a try with Peter Wilson converting. Again the tide turned when Paddy Wright scored for the visitors. Limavady pressed forward and were rewarded with a try, this time by Bob Lamberton and again converted by Peter Wilson. Just before half time Limavady’s Stuart Simpson was unfortunate to receive a yellow card and this was to prove crucial in the overall outcome of the game. During the ten minutes that he was off the field Limavady conceded nineteen points by way of three tries, all scored by Man of the Match, Aaron Ferris. Limavady could so easily have let the game slip away from them at this stage but excellent attitude and effort enabled them to respond with two well worked tries of their own. Matthew Haslett was the star man in this period when he, firstly burst free and set up another debutant, Rohan Mulligan, for a try and then an outstanding individual effort allowed him to show a clean pair of heels to the visitor’s defence to score under the posts. With Peter Wilson adding the two conversions the deficit was narrowed to just two points and game on. Aaron Ferris was to have the final say though when he crossed the line for his fourth try of the afternoon. Penalties were exchanged by both Outhalves to take the score to 32.39. Limavady tried all they could to get the points needed to win the game. Rohan Mulligan thought he was away only for the referee, Eamon Whelan, to call him back having deemed there to be a forward pass and the final minutes saw Limavady camped on the ‘Hinch tryline but the visitors managed to hold out. The final whistle saw both sets of supporters having witnessed an excellent sporting confrontation, Ballynahinch supporters relieved to hear the ref call time and the Limavady supporters a little disappointed that the cup run was at an end however delighted with the performance by their side. Limavady’s coaching staff can take much encouragement from the attitude displayed by this group of players and on the basis of this result against a top side they can look forward to the rest of the season with much optimism.
Next week, it’s league action again with Limavady on their travels for a local derby against Ballymoney, kick off 2.30.