Coach takes heart from friendly performance

Ballymoney Rugby Club coach Jason Taggart said Saturday’s match was an ideal opportunity to put his squad through their paces before the season kicks off proper.

He said: “We had a good squad out today with a lot of young talented players.

“We were missing a few of our senior players with David Campbell, Ryan Brace and Scott Nelson unavailable and Cormac McCartney only playing 20 mintues due to a injury he picked up in training.

“This meant we had a lot of new combinations especially in the backline and the back row so it took a bit of time for people to get to know each other. I told the guys to go out and try things today and they did with some great line breaks and off loading.

“We maybe threw the ball about too much but I know once coming to the competitive matches we will have more structure.

“The match was good too for fitness, especially with the heat there was during the match due to sunny weather.

“Our defence was good and it was great to get a couple of trys.

“We gave away the ball too easily today and our penalty count was too high but we will be working on that at training over the next couple of weeks.

“It was good to see some of the new guys in action with Campbell, Henderson and Montgomery doing well in their first match for the club this year.

“Our set piece was generally good and with Irvine playing at hooker too it added more depth to our squad. We had a lot of new combinations and a number of players covered different positions which is great for the squad and highlights how talented the squad is.

“Chris Waston had to come off with a cut, but will be ok and apart from a few knocks we did not have any injuries which was good.

“I will be picking another squad for this weekend ‘s match away to Letterkenny and from those two games I should be coming close to knowing what the starting side will be for the league game the following week.”