SATURDAY saw another disappointing result for Ballymoney 1st XV.
The side made the short journey down the road to Limavady’s newly laid pitches. The final score was 20-12 after Limavady played a smart game to prevent Ballymoney getting any scores across the line. Ballymoney kicked off with the wind at their back and showed good early intent with strong running from both backs and forwards. Early pressure forced Limavady to concede a penalty deep in their half and James Cleland smoothly slotted it between the posts. Limavady piled on pressure of their own and after making their way into the oppositions 22 attempted a drop goal. It drifted to the left of the post, and bounced in the goal area. The Ballymoney defenders were beaten by the bounce and the Limavady number 8 plucked the ball from the air and scored almost below the posts. Despite Ballymoney playing with the wind and trying their best to play territory, continuous unforced errors and penalties prevented Ballymoney from taking any advantage. Solid forward play and consistent retention of the ball allowed for the Limavady side to cruise in for another try before half time. Ballymoney tried to get back into the game before the half and took the game to 12-9 in LImavady’s favour through the boot of James Cleland. The second half saw more good decision making from Limavady and they played the sort of game that Ballymoney had tried to impose in the first half. Kicking the ball deep, trusting their defence and waiting for the Ballymoney side to make mistakes. Ballymoney made less mistakes in the second half and showed certain spells of the quality the possess but were unable to penetrate a solid Limavady defence. Limavady’s tactics eventually paid off and were able to cross the line once more before the end of the half. The final moments of the game saw Ballymoney try to restore a bit of pride in their play. Pushing hard at the Limavady men and combining forward and backs in order to break the Ballymoney defence. The away side came close on occasions with davy Campbell and Neal Mulholland coming closest. Ballymoney’s pressure paid off and in the dieing minutes of the game had thought they had secured the losing bonus point, only to be denied by a long range penalty kick from the Limavady boot. The final score was 22-12. The men from the Toon will need to improve this week as they face Bandbridge 2s in their defence of their Towns Cup crown. All support would be greatly appreciated to try and spur the Ballymoney men on.