UCC vs Ballymena

October 3, 2016
Score: 18 - 17

Match Report

Ballymena, with two victories under their belt, made the long trip to Cork to meet the University College who had lost their two opening matches, so there was every reason to be optimistic. Playing conditions at the Mardyke were perfect, and following a great break by Glenn Baillie, Mark Best finished off the move with a try in the sixth minute, which was not converted. A well worked back move, with Jordan Foster coming in from his wing to cut through the midfield and timing his pass perfectly put Marty Irwin in the clear for Ballymena’s second try, which Mark Best converted for a 12-0 lead. On the half hour mark, UCC kicked a penalty, but when a drive by the Ballymena pack put another try on the board, with Connor Smyth getting the touchdown, it looked as if that optimism was well founded with what looked like a 17-3 lead going into the break. But in the time added on by referee Joy Nicholls at the end of the half, UCC mounted a pretty orthodox back movement which put the full back into space to score in the corner for a converted try. So the 17-3 lead now looked less comfortable at 17-10.

With time running out, some weak Ballymena tackling allowed substitute James Kiernan to beat a number of defenders and score a fine individual try out wide on the left. That was not converted so with four minutes left in the game Ballymena were still holding a narrow 17-15 lead. The final blow came when in the second minute of injury time UCC were awarded a penalty, which their full back converted to put his side in front for the first and decisive time, and inflict an 18-17 defeat on Ballymena.