Ballymena travelled to Instonians in the Ulster league and came away with a bonus point, winning 66-3.
Sitting top of the Ulster league Andy Grahams men new they couldn’t afford any slip ups as Ballynahinch are only a point off them in second place. A very different looking team took to the field against the hosts today and they didn’t disappoint as they took the game to Instonians. The first try came only minutes into the game when prop Adrain Kirkpatrick forced his way over the line after a strong maul from the visitors. Fullback Rory Drysdale slotted over the first of his nine conversion, 0-7. The dominant Ballymena pack were to strong for the hosts and it was from a great scrum that they were able to set up their second try when the ball was moved out wide for Jordan Foster to show a clean pair of heels for his first try. The conversion was good, 0-14. Instonians rallied from the restart and found themselves in the Ballymena’s half for the first time in the game. Ballymena gave away 3 points when they wouldn’t release from a tackle. The Instonian outhalf added the penalty, 3-14. Ballymena upped the pace and soon opened up the home defence again when centres Mike McKeever released Michael Johnston to score under the posts. the conversion was added, 3-21. Ballymena went searching for their bonus score try and after another strong forwards display Flanker Shane McBurney was awarded with the try when the maul crossed the line. the conversion was good, 3-28. With half time approaching the braid men went on a final attack which resulted in winger Jordan Foster racing down the line for his second try. Rory Drysdale added the touch line conversion. Half time 3-35.
the second half got underway and it was all about damage limitation for the home side as the rampant braid men grew stronger as the game went on. Rory Drysdale added to his personal tally when he broke the defensive line to dance his way under the posts. He converted his own try, 3-42. A few minutes later ballymena were awarded a penalty which the inform Rory Drysdale dispatched the ball between the posts, 3-45. The flood gates were well and truly opened and the Ballymena forwards hard work was rewarded when second row David Whann and flanker Shane McBurney both crossed the line to add to the score. The conversions were added, 3-59. The final score of the game came to prop Adrian Kirkpatrick after a rampaging run taking a defender over the line. Rory added the conversion bringing his personal tally to 26 points and the overall score to 3-66.
This was another great display from the braid men who are still top of both leagues going into the new year. The first now have a fee weekend to recover before taking on City of Derry in the AIL on the 11th of January.
TEAM A.Warwick, J.Carmichael, A.Kirkpatick, D.Whann, I.Caldwell, S.McBurney, W.McKay, M.Foster, G.Bailey, M.Erwin, C.Watson, M.McKeever, M.Johnston, J.Foster, R.Drysdale