BALLYMONEY 5THS 22 BELFAST HARLEQUINS 8
The mighty fifths (last year’s mighty fours!) finally got their season underway on Saturday with a home game versus a fairly young Belfast Harlequins side.
With a few of the usual suspects missing it gave a chance for several guys to blow the cobwebs off the boots hidden on the top shelf in the garage and grace the Kilraughts Road turf again!
With captain and regular Man of the Match Richard Millar away sunning his ample frame in the South of France,club stalwart John Waide led the troops into battle.
The game kicked off and it wasn’t long before the strong toon pack were back to what they do best, taking a scrum against the head inside the opponents 22 but after several phases, Harlequins turned the ball over and cleared their lines and worked their way down the pitch where Ballymoney gave a away a soft penalty which was easily converted by the Quins out half.
The toon were soon to get on the score sheet when AD White kicked a penalty after the Quins forwards were penalised for holding on .After the restart Ballymoney scored their first try when a failed clearance bounced kindly and DD Barkley pounced on the loose ball for probably the easiest try he’ll ever score! AD White added the extra 2 points with some fine kicking.
Unfortunately for Ballymoney it wasn’t long before Quins were back in the game. Straight from the restart and with some diabolical defending, the big Quin’s centre broke through several tackles and scored below the posts but the conversion was missed. With no more further scores in the half Ballymoney went in at the half 10-8 up.
Second half started and followed the pattern of the first with neither side in the ascendancy. The main highlight of a mainly forgettable half was the happy birthday chorus from the sidelines for evergreen Jimmy Reid who was celebrating his 48th birthday! The other highlight came from a scrum just outside the 22 when the toon no 8 (remaining nameless to save embarrassment) skipped majestically through several tackles a la Nick Williams only to drop the ball as he crossed the line!
With 5 minutes left on the clock and after sustained Ballymoney pressure, AD White scorched in to score a fine try and although the conversion was missed it looked like the game was going to finish 15-8, flying winger Speers had other ideas and in the last passage of play, he skipped past the trailing defence to score a superb try in the corner and with the last kick of the game, AD White kicked a great conversion from touchline to leave the final score 22-8.
Overall it was a reasonable performance considering it was the first game and hopefully this result can be built on as the 5s launch a bid for league glory!