The Under 13 team photographed in March 2014.
Ballymena Under 13s Stun Ballyclare at the Park
Having been beaten heavily by Ballyclare earlier in the season Ballymena Under 13s were determined to play better in the Ulster Plate quarter final. Ballyclare came out strongly and had the home team under pressure and it was only some strong tackling from full back Fullerton which helped keep the visitors at bay. With O’Rawe working hard at the breakdown Ballymena began to get some good possession. A strong run from Norris saw the ball moved to O’Kane who was held up just short of the line. The next few minutes saw both sides working hard to gain an advantage. However it was Ballymena who rocked the visitors with a well worked backline move which saw the impressive Scullion release O’Connor. He side stepped several defenders before running clear to touch down under the posts. Walker stepped up and hit the conversion to put the Braid boys on their way. The remainder of the half saw Ballymena continue to increase the pressure and a strong drive from Gilkinson and McIlveen saw them held up just short of the line. The second half saw Ballyclare get a series of penalties which saw them move deep into Ballymena territory. However some strong tackling from Morrow and McCartney saw the home side turn away several attacking waves. The 13s then began to grow in confidence and a strong run from Magill saw the ball moved to Walker who brushed aside several defenders to score in the corner. The 13s piled on the pressure and another fine back move saw the ball transferred to man of the match McIlhagga who ran clear to touch down under the posts. The try was converted by Walker and the boys were now fully in control of the game. Ballyclare were now a spent force and struggled to get out of their half. Buick and Higgins made some good ground before the ball was transferred to Mcilhagga who crashed over for the last try of the game. This was a tremendous victory for the Under 13s. Head coach Tony Walker said ‘The improvement in the boys in the past few months has been remarkable. Most of the boys only started playing rugby in September but they have huge potential and are improving with every game’. The 13s now face Larne in the quarter-final on Saturday 5th April at Eaton Park
Final Score – Ballymena 24 Ballyclare 0