After some recent disappointing league results Head Coach Jimmy ‘The Hump’ Carson decided to make significant changes to the First XV starting lineup for this week’s Town’s Cup second Round match against Dromore.
Despite playing into the elements the home side started brightly with some excellent work from the back row of McCollum, Bellingham and McKeeman in particular.
Indeed this endeavour helped them take the lead after 10 minutes through a well struck penalty from full back Andrew Young.
Unfortunately this lead was short lived when Dromore scored in the corner after a mix up from the kick off. This was superbly converted by the Dromore 10 to make it 3-7
Ballymoney conceded another try within 5 minutes when a well executed Dromore Maul rumbled over from 30m out. This again was converted from wide out to take the score to 3-14
Ballymoney struck back almost from the kick off.
Some excellent carries from John McFetridge and Matty Blair saw the home team make head way deep in opposition territory.
From an attacking scrum 10m out Matthew Steele showed some mesmeric footwork to dance past a floundering Dromore defence to dot down close to the posts. Young just missed with the conversion.
Just before the half Dromore scored again through a well worked try, this was converted for the visitors to lead 8-21 at the break, a score that definitely flattered Dromore.
At the start of second half Ballymoney began to take control of the match. The scrum, which had been dominant all day obliterated the opposition at every set piece.
From one such scrum on 44 minutes number 8 John McFetridge controlled the ball well at the base to score a great forwards try to reduce the deficit. Young converted to take it to 15-21
On 60 minutes Ballymoney took the lead after another well worked push over try. John McFetridge showed Messi like control to flick the ball up into his hands at the base of the scrum to score again. Andrew Young showed great composure to kick his team into the lead 22-21.
Dromore rallied however and struck back with a penalty of their own on 68 minutes to retake the lead.
Undaunted by this the home side showed great composure.
They continued to dominated possession and territory with some pin point kicking from James Campbell and Matthew Steele.
On 72 minutes the pressure told as Dromore infringed at a ruck. Andrew Young again held his nerve to kick the three points which ultimately won the match.
Late in the match Matthew Steele had the opportunity to take the game out of reach. The backs moved the ball well to Nigel Nevin who timed his pass perfectly to put Steele away 30m out.
Unfortunately a covering tackle from an opposition prop prevented the scrum half from adding to his tally.
Head Coach Jimmy Carson admitted that the quality of his team’s performance this week had left him speechless! This was indeed a much more spirited performance from Ballymoney who now move into the quareter final of the Town’s Cup.
The Toon will have to repeat this performance next week against as they welcome league leaders Carrickfergus to Kilraughts Road.
This will be followed on 6th February by an away trip to Enniskillen in the league before the quarter final of the Towns Cup whcih is on Saturday 13th February.