LISBURNED AS TOP TOON TAKE 5 POINTS WITH HALF TON
By Chris McIlmoyle
Report C McIlmoyle
On a fine October afternoon, the JKC sponsored Ballymoney 1st XV entertained Lisburn at Kilraughts Road in the league, with the home side looking to bounce back from the disappointment to last week’s defeat in the cup to Portadown.Adam Smith
replaced the unavailable Peter Irvine in the front row, with Michael Allan
stepping in the the back row following a warm up injury to skipper David McKeeman
In the backs, Matthew Bell
returned to the wing following a foot injury.
Ballymoney opened the scoring in just 4 minutes, John Hyndman
kicked a penalty to the corner and from the lineout the ball was mauled forward before being popped to stand in captain Marty Irwin who broke the line to cross the whitewash, Hyndman converting, 7-0 Toon.
The next 10-15 minutes both sides traded possession, the referee stopping the game much too often for both teams liking .Following a Lisburn penalty, Michael Allan
was yellow carded to interfering with the ball and with Lisburn deciding to scrum, the no 8 picked and drove before the ball was snapped to the centre who broke through the home defence to score 7-5.
This rallied the home side back to life and within minutes Daniel Ramage
added his name to the score sheet when he battered his way through the away defence with Hyndman adding the extras.
With the Toon pack now dominating the third try came from another catch & drive lineout, this time Garvin Bellingham
The 4th & bonus point try came before too long and with the Lisburn team unable to get out of their own half a kicked clearance was picked out of the air by winger Bell who jinked through several tackles before releasing Thomas Hunter
who rounded a few tackles himself before setting down below the posts leaving the half time score 26-5.
Second half started as the first ended with Ballymoney always in control however with Hyndman going to the bin for 10 for a high tackle, Lisburn rallied hard with several periods of decent possession however they failed to make their advantage pay and with the Toon still at 14, they ball was spun wide to Armstrong out wide and from the resulting ruck, prop Matthew Blair
took the pop on the burst to crash over.
Lisburn were then reduced to 14 when the centre high tackled Danny Platt
and Matthew Steele
sniped in from the ruck base to get his first of the season, Hyndman converting before he scored a try of his own following a great line break from Hunter and again he added the touchline conversion much to the pleasure of the large home support.
The returning Michael Allan
finished off the scoring on his first game of the season when he smashed over following a line break from big Matty Blair .This proved to be the last play as the ref blew the whistle much to the relief of the beleaguered visitors who were out on their feet .Final score 50-5.
Following the game, Jonny Hanna commented,” It was good to get a good win under our belts today following the results of the past few weeks. We have upped the intensity in training and it certainly showed off again today as we dominated a fairly big Lisburn pack , we controlled the lineout and it was evident as we scored a few of our tries from the resulting mauls. We carried the ball very well, in particular Man of the Match, Garvin Bellingham
who was immense today, covering every blade of grass our kick chase too was excellent and our communication in defence has improved too.
I felt we handled the referee very well today, he seemed to be quite inexperienced at this level and seemed to break the play up a lot by awarding numerous penalties to both sides but we stuck to the task at hand. We travel to Banbridge in the conference league next week and we expect another very difficult game so we have to keep the intensity and numbers up at training .Can I also add it has been a great day for Ballymoney with all senior teams winning, especially the 2nd XV who beat Carrick away, a very tricky place to go and get a win.”