Banbridge 9 Ballymena 27
With a wind blowing down the pitch, and a flurry of snow in their faces, the Ballymena backs struggled to make any headway in the opening stages of this Ulster League game played at Rifle Park. Banbridge took advantage of the conditions and the mistakes in both handling and kicking by Ballymena and opened up a nine point lead with three penalties, without ever threatening the Ballymena try line. The visitors came close to scoring on a couple of occasions, and finally got on the score sheet through a Matthew Rea try, which Richie McMaster, who played well throughout, converted. He then kicked a penalty to give Ballymena the lead for the first time in the game, and put his side ahead 10-9 at the break.
Playing now with the elements Ballymena exerted almost total control for the rest of the game and the home side seldom got across the half way line. In such adverse weather conditions it was good to see the Ballymena backs in such lively form, and the three second half tries came from powerful running by them. Jonny McMullan scored a great thirty five metre try, beating a number of defenders and regaining his balance to score in the corner. James Beattie, who once again had a promising game in the centre, scored the second of the three tries after an excellent mid-field break, and the game’s final try was score by centre Darrell Montgomery, who replaced Tim Small, after a series of powerful mauls by the pack. Richie McMaster converted one of the tries, to make the final score 27-9 in favour of Ballymena.
no images were found