Ballymena 3rds 27 Dromore 2nds 5
In an entertaining encounter at Eaton Park Ballymena 3rd XV outplayed their opponents to achieve a victory that puts them top of their section of the Junior League. However, against a well organised Dromore defence it took the home side nearly a quarter of an hour to get on the board, which they did through a Matthew Banks penalty. At this stage most of the attacking play was coming from Ballymena, with the backline showing a lot of pace and skill, but they couldn’t crack the Dromore defence until a minute before half time, when prop Alan Campbell crashed over for a try. The conversion failed, leaving the half time score 8-0 to Ballymena.
The second half began as the first half had ended, with the home backline probing the defence, but it was another forward, Keith Lamont, who scored Ballymena’s second try, to finish off good work by the two centres. Banks converted to make the score 15-0, and it was the same player who notched up his side’s third try, which he converted to give his side a comfortable 22-0 lead. To their credit, Dromore kept on trying to play rugby and some good handling by their three quarters put their left wing in for an unconverted try. Mike Smith rounded off the Ballymena scoring when he supported a forty metre run by Ali McCosh to score wide out. That try was not converted, leaving the final score 27-5 and a top of the table position for Ballymena 3rd XV.
This was a good team performance, with the foundations for the victory laid by a hard working pack in which Tim Montgomery was always to the fore, supported by a mobile, hardworking back row. Team Manager Mike Kerr was naturally pleased with the victory, pointing out that the team was a great mixture of youth and experience, all of whom played their part.