Big win for Ballymoney over Strabane in rugby’s Town’s Cup

Ballymoney 1sts played Strabane in the Town's Cup on Saturday.INBM5-14 238JCBallymoney 1sts played Strabane in the Town's Cup on Saturday.INBM5-14 238JC
Ballymoney 1sts played Strabane in the Town's Cup on Saturday.INBM5-14 238JC

Ballymoney removed the shackles to put up a good score in this Towns Cup match.

After a few weeks of results going against them, Ballymoney’s 1st XV started to get back on track last week with a good win away at Cooke. This week Strabane visited Kilraughts Road in the Towns Cup.

As the last remaining chance at silverware this season, Ballymoney put a strong side out to get the campaign under way. The pack was unchanged from last week, but in the backs the absence of Rhys McAuley meant that James Campbell stepped into 9, with Henderson moving to 10, and Kyle McAuley back in the centre. Nathanial Steele came into fullback after some good work recently in the 2s.

An early try for Ben Henderson was a sign of how the match would play out. A strong line out and hands through the back line put him in the corner. James Campbell hit the first of 6 conversions on the day to make it 7-0 after 6 mins.

Ryan Clyde was next on the score sheet, crossing the line on 15 mins, followed by Garvin Bellingham on 20 mins. Both tries showed good ball retention and continuity. 21-0 at half time, and Strabane had only a missed penalty attempt to show for their first half effort.

With Graham on for David Campbell at half time, it took a further 20 minutes to get the scoreboard moving again. This time it was captain Alex Houston bursting through the middle for 28-0.

Now the home side could sense the game opening up, and Bellingham’s second try a couple of minutes later opened the flood gates. A break from Chris Morrison and offload by Steele put him in for the score.

Steele got on the scoreboard himself after 65 minutes, Hanna feeding Campbell from the scrum, who put the winger away for the try.

And the final score came from Ryan Clyde on 70 minutes, breaking through the channel to go under the posts unopposed.

All in all, this was a comfortable win for Ballymoney, who will be as pleased with keeping the Strabane score to zero .

Man of the Match this week was Chris Morrison, who has stepped up well to the first team, and looked lively all day.

Team manager Sam McAllister said afterwards: “This was an accomplished display by the Qualifying 1 side against a potential banana skin in this Cup fixture. The Toon worked the ball well with the forwards and backs, and remained patient when playing with ball in hand, in the knowledge that points would follow.”

Next for the 1st XV is a visit to Ballynahinch 2s in a Conference league fixture, and the 2nd XV visit Clogher Valley in the Crawford Cup.

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