Glynn men serve up a Butler Shield semi-final

LARNE Rugby Club’s Thirds romped to victory over an experienced Ballynahinch team in the last eight of the Butler Shield at the weekend.

Despite the absence of influential captain Gareth Hardy, Larne booked their place in the semi-finals in a convincing 60-0 win at the Glynn. They will now have to wait to see who they are paired with in the semi-final.

With a matter of minutes on the clock Larne had their first try of the day when Morrow set up Rennix to score in the corner.

A mazy run from Meikle then left ‘Hinch chasing shadows and he ran in to score below the posts for Wharry to convert the kick to give the home side a 12-0 lead.

Barging runs from props Hawthorne and McKee, who had played for the under-19s that morning, kept Hinch on the back foot, with Hawthorne crashing over to score on his debut for the seniors.

The visitors tried to get into the game but Morrow, who directed the flow of the game from out-half, and some sterling defensive work by Webb, McDowell and McAuley kept them at bay.

There was a smash-and-grab try when McKinty ripped the ball from a ‘Hinch forward inside his own 22 to set up Rennix who ran the length of the pitch to score below the posts for his second of the day. Wharry duly converted to leave the half-time score 24-0.

The second half started brightly with replacements Agnew and Falconer on for Morrow and Meikle,

A cross-field kick from Agnew dropped into the arms of Bergin who outpaced his opposite number to crash in for a score.

As Larne’s dominance began to take its toll on the visitors a training ground move saw Agnew set Wharry on his for a try of his own. Wharry then added his second of the day before Agnew and fellow replacement Thompson added two more. Agnew stepped up to the mark to kick both conversions.

In the closing minutes, Spears fed Gilbert, who fended off three tackles to supply McIlheron to score below the posts. Agnew converted the resulting kick to complete the rout.

Man of the match: Marc Gilbert.

Larne: McKee, Meikle, Hawthorne, Webb, Gilbert, McDowell, McAuley, Mckinty, McIlheron, Morrow, Bergin, Rennix, Spears, O’Toole, Wharry (Capt)

Replacements: Agnew, Falconer, Thompson.