Ballymoney Firsts back to winnings ways with a win against Queens

Fulback,Cormac McCartney sets up an attack.
Fulback,Cormac McCartney sets up an attack.

BALLYMONEY 1st XV 28

QUEEN’S 2nd XV 10

Aidan Harrigan,Harrigan Fuels presenting Match Day Sponsorship to 1stXV Coach Jimmy Carson, along with L-R Club Vice-Chairman Alec Houston and Coaches Chris Cochrane and Richard Beggs.

Aidan Harrigan,Harrigan Fuels presenting Match Day Sponsorship to 1stXV Coach Jimmy Carson, along with L-R Club Vice-Chairman Alec Houston and Coaches Chris Cochrane and Richard Beggs.

On Saturday, Ballymoney First XV played hosts to Queen’s University, Belfast Second XV, in a Conference League match and in wet and windy conditions won comfortably by 28-10.

The home side welcomed back Aidy Graham to the second row to play alongside Matthew Blair and John McFetridge, creating a fearsome back-row, together with Davy Holmes and Callum McDonald. Carson,McAneaney and Blair completed the pack and they laid down a solid foundation for this victory.

From the kick-off, Ballymoney, despite the wind in their backs, managed to play an extensive running game, and with the forwards winning an ample supply of ball this presented their backline with adequate attacking opportunities. However, stout defence by the visitors somehow managed to prevent Ballymoney from scoring on several occasions.

Ten minutes into the half, Ballymoney went into the lead. Aidy Graham won good line-out ball, creating a maul which allowed the forwards to control and move the ball steadily towards the Queen’s line for their big number eight, John McFetridge, to dive over and score a well-worked try. Jamesy Campbell converted.

Second Row, Aidy Graham takes a clean catch.

Second Row, Aidy Graham takes a clean catch.

From the resumption of play, Queen’s retaliated and moved the ball swiftly across their backline, releasing their right winger to score an unconverted try in the corner.

Ballymoney hit back immediately and were awarded a penalty try, following a scrum infringement by the Queen’s forwards. Jamesy Campbell again converted to put Ballymoney 14-5 ahead.

Play see-sawed between both twenty-twos, with Queen’s continuing to play a running game and Ballymoney hitting back with counter attacks and it was from one of these that Ballymoney went further ahead - pressurising Queen’s in their twenty-two area, the Kilraughts Road men maintained their forward momentum with prop John Blair finishing off some excellent work with another good try which Campbell converted.

Just before half-time Queen’s tried to run the ball wide from within their own twenty-two, resulting in a knock-on by their centre. From the ensuing scrum,the Ballymoney pack controlled the ball and, powering over the line, John McFetridge touched down to score his second try. Again, Campbell converted, leaving the half-time score 28-5 to Ballymoney.

The second half was well controlled by Ballymoney and they absorbed everything which Queen’s threw at them in an attempt to get back into the game. Ballymoney’s scrummaging was too powerful for the students, driving them back on many occasions to win the ball, but the windy conditions did not favour the home side, who battled away looking for another score which unfortunately did not come.

Late in the game Queen’s scored another unconverted try, following a period of sustained pressure on the Ballymoney line, leaving the final score Ballymoney 28- Queen’s 10.

Coach Jimmy Carson commented: “It was a decent game of rugby in horrible conditions and our discipline was excellent throughout the game. We have been working on this aspect of our play during the past couple of weeks and it proved successful today. We have still a bit if work to do but things are looking good. We play Lisburn at home next Saturday and need to remain focused and determined to win.”

FIXTURES

The remaining fixtures for 2015 for the First Xv are as follows:

Saurday 12, 14:30 at home against Lisburn in the league

Saturday 19, 14:30 away to Malone 2 in the league

Saturday 26, 14:30 away to Coleraine in the league

CHRISTMAS

There are some great events coming up in December at Ballymoney Rugby Club. On Saturday 19th December there is the Club Christmas Jumper night for all rugby and hockey players, coaches and supporters. There will be Santa and Karaoke!

Saturday 26th December will be the Boxing Night function with Brown Sugar. Tickets cost £5 or £7 at door.

On Thursday 31st December there will be the New Years Eve function with Picture The Sound. Tickets cost £7 or £10 at door.

Tickets are on sale now for Boxing Night and New Years Eve from the Bar or Biestys.