Last gasp win in Larne
By Chris McIlmoyle
Report C McIlmoyle
On Saturday, JKC sponsored Ballymoney 1st XV travelled to Larne, looking to bounce back from narrow defeats in the past few weeks from Academy and Clogher respectively.
Although it was a dry afternoon, a strong breeze blew across the field making things potentially difficult for both sides .Andrew Brown returned to the Ballymoney pack along with Timmy Woods and captain David McKeeman and in the back line Matthew Pollock and Connor Creith started .Jack Anderson & Lewis Wray started on the bench.
A large crowd had gathered to watch what promised to be a very entertaining game as both sides set out to play good rugby right from the off .
Within five minutes Larne took the lead when a penalty conceded inside the Ballymoney half gave the Larne scrum half a kick at goal which he duly converted
Ballymoney were soon on the scoresheet afterwards, a penalty at the scrum gave John Hyndman a kick to the corner .From the resulting lineout on the 22, the ball was carried up by Timmy Woods, then quickly snapped back and fed to Marty Irwin who broke through to cross the whitewash, John Hyndman converting, Ballymoney 7-3.
On 25 minutes Ballymoney scored the second try, a strong scrum on the right hand touchline saw the back row break, making strong carries and pulling in the home defence before the ball was shifted to centre Connor Creith who stepped inside his opposite number to gallop 30 yards and score in the far corner, conversion missed, score 12-3 .
Larne however hit back within 5 minutes, the scrum half running wide and pulled the defender away from pillar and with the reverse pass fed the ball to the big no 6 to crash over, bringing score back to 12-10.Larne then took the lead when a penalty conceded for offside was converted, leaving half time score 13-12 in favour of the home side.
The second half was a fairly even affair with both sides pushing hard and playing good rugby but as the half drew on the away side had most of the possession as they pushed hard for the winning points .With continuous pressure in the remaining minutes and the home side tiring , the Ballymoney pack retaining ball excellently pushed deep into the 22 and with the clock running down ,scrum half Pollock darted through a slight gap to touch down to the delight of the Ballymoney support .Conversion added , score now 17-13 , the home team pushed hard for the remaining minutes but Ballymoney held on for a well-deserved win .
Coach Jonny Hanna was delighted with the win.”after a few narrow defeats this sesason it was nice to be on the other side of one of these!It was a good game to watch but it was particularly nice to see the tries as these were plays we had been working hard at in training .The team worked very hard today and I was happy at the way we retained the ball today as we have been guilty in the past of giving it away too cheaply .We have a big week at training this week as we entertain Clogher at home this Saturday and look to avenge the narrow Towns Cup defeat a couple of weeks ago .”