On Saturday Ballymoney RFC U17XV hosted Instonians Seahorses in a league match at the Kilraughts Road.
After a poor team performance the previous week the Under 17s welcomed back prop Gary Balmer who reinforced the forwards with his robust play and strong scrummaging.
In fine playing conditions the Under 17s played a controlled game and with the forwards providing good ball for the halfbacks, Chris Campbell and Andrew Young, they attacked Instonians at every opportunity. The centres, Aaron Brown and Tommy McMullan, worked hard and created breaks through the resolute Instonians’ defence, superbly supported by the back row of Matt Johnston, Nathanial McCollum and Gavin Thompson.It was from such play that prop forward Gary Balmer charged over the Instonians’ line to score an unconverted try after ten minutes.
After 20 minutes a high kick from Gary Pattison was chased by wing forward, Gavin Thompson, who tackled the Instonians’ fullback. Gavin retrieved the loose ball and passed to the supporting Gary Pattison who scored the second unconverted try, leaving the halftime score 10-0 to Ballymoney.
The second half resumed where the first finished with Ballymoney launching high kicks into the Instonians’ half and keeping the visitors on the defence. Ten minutes into the second half Ballymoney scored their third try. Matt Johnston, Alan McBurney and Nathanial McCollum, who were destroying the Instonians’ lineout, stole the ball and from the ensuing maul Gary Balmer scored his second unconverted try.
James Wilson replaced the injured Jack Kane on the wing and unsettled the Instonians’ backline by his strong running. With ten minutes of play remaining Man of the Match Gary Pattison scored his second try after a fine break and several nippy sidesteps to break free of the Instonians’ defence. Andrew Young converted,leaving the the final score 22-0 to the Ballymoney lads.
Credit must be given to the Instonians’ team for their honesty and fair play during the game and the Under 17s were unanimous in their praise and respect for the maturity which their opponents displayed.
This was an excellent game for the Under 17s, well captained by Ben Graham, who were able to show their skill and self discipline at all times.