On Saturday the JKC/Causeway Geotech Sponsored Ballymoney 1st XV travelled to Shaw’s Bridge Belfast where Instonians were the opponents.
A late injury to John McFetridge saw a late call up for Jack Dowey at tight head and Peter Irvine returned at hooker .Michael Allan returned in second row with Ashley Tweed & Jack Anderson on the bench .
In the backs James Cleland returned on the wing with Andy Young also came in at full back.
The game kicked off in dry conditions and Ballymoney went on the offensive from the off , the forwards making good inroads into the opponents half with powerful carries from Dowey & Irvine leading to an Inst infringement giving John Hyndman the opportunity to open the scoring from the tee , Toon up 3-0 after 3 minutes.
Inst hit back with 2 quick tries, first from a free kick at scrum time, this led to a missed tackle and the Inst centre broke the line to score with the extras being added by the kicker .Following the restart the home side broke straight down the pitch and doubled their lead.
Ballymoney regrouped and went back on the attack but unfortunately lost centre John Hyndman when he fell awkwardly from a heavy tackle so the backs were reshuffled with second rower Ashley Tweed coming on at wing .
Just before half time Ballymoney scored their try ,forwards hit up the field with a series of pick & gos , the ball was moved wide to the wing bore the pack started driving back again and it was popped to Daniel Ramage who crashed over the line with Andrew Young converting ,12-10
Instonians scored from a penalty to leave the half time score 15-10.
With the rain setting in at half time it made handling conditions a bit trickier and both teams had an equal amount of possession without looking too dangerous , unfortunately prop Jack Dowey had to be changed due to a shoulder injury and again the front row had to reshuffle and Instonians scored two pushover tries in quick succession leaving Ballymoney chasing the game .with minutes left on the clock the Toon were harshly penalised when Irvine broke from a driving maul .Ballymoney rallied hard after this but unfortunately were unable to break down the home defence and Instonians go into the hat for the next round , winning 29-10.
Team : M Blair P Irvine J Dowey D Platt M Allan D Ramage G Bellingham J Munnis M Steele M Irwin M Bell J Laughlin J Hyndman J Cleland A Young A Tweed J Anderson
Afterwards coach Jonny Hanna was disappointed to lose the game but happy with the performance.”We always knew it was going to be a hard game with Instonians being one of the top sides in Q1 but we were confident in our ability that could come a get a result .After they hit us with the two quick tries we started playing the way we know we can but unfortunately with John Hyndman having to come off injured affected our attacking options. Unfortunately in the second half I felt we were on the wrong side of a few 50/50 decisions but we gave away a few too many penalties and made a few errors at key times of the game but the positives we take from this game outweigh the negatives .A cup run would have been nice but our focus this season is to concentrate on our league performances and with Ards and Lurgan in the next few weeks we feel it is where our focus needs to be .Hopefully the injuries received today aren’t too serious and we’ll have a strong panel to pick from .The guys who came in today done fantastic , especially Jack Dowey who was having a superb game in his new position at tighthead until he injured his shoulder. There is a tremendous team spirit with all the guys working hard for each other and we move on to next week at Kilraughts Road “