First Trust Senior Cup
Ballymena 37 Omagh 27
This time last year Omagh were plying their trade in the top tier of the Qualifying League, but after winning that they fought their way through the Round Robin to gain promotion to Division 2C of the All Ireland League, which gave them entry to the Ulster Senior Cup. Fielding a team that looked nothing like the fifteen that were narrowly beaten in the their last UBL game, Ballymena knew that this game was always going to be a bit of a tussle and that is exactly how it turned out, only ensuring victory and progress to the semi final in the closing stages of the game
Ballymena opened the scoring with a Dean Reynolds try, converted by Glenn Baillie. Omagh hit back with a penalty and a converted try to give them a 10-7 lead, but on the quarter hour a try by James Boville, one of a number of players in their first year out of school, put Ballymena back in the lead at 12-10.
The lead changed hands once again as Omagh scored two tries, converting one, putting tham 22-12 ahead, and a cup shock looked on the cards. Ballymena’ response came in the form of a fine try by David Whann and a close range effort from Dominic Gallagher, leaving the half time score at 24-22 in Ballymena’s favour.
A Baillie penalty extended the lead to 27-22 and a Joe Thompson try increased it to 32-22, so Ballymena looked home and dry, but a fine try by Omagh, helped by some average Ballymena tackling, brought the visitors back to within five points at 32-27. Despite enjoying a fair bit of possession for the rest of the game, Omagh couldn’t add to that and a Davy O’Hara try in injury time sealed the issue. Final score Ballymena 37 Omagh 27
Images courtesy of Darrell O’Kane Photography