On Saturday Ballymoney Under 18s team progressed to the quarter finals of the Ulster Under 18 Youth Plate, defeating a very gallant Finn Valley team by 62-0 at the Kilraughts Road.
Following their disappointing result at Ballyclare the previous week, the Under 18s began this match keen to defend their unbeaten home record.
The Town received the kickoff and immediately went on the attack. Fullback Gary Pattison received a long clearance kick from the Finn Valley outhalf and cut through the flatfooted Finn Valley defence to score an excellent solo try which he converted. Several minutes later, wing forward William Parkhill scored another well worked unconverted try,following great work by the Ballymoney forwards. The horse had definitely left the paddock when Gary Pattison scored another unconverted try in the corner.
The forwards would not allow the Finn Valley team to settle, and with pressure on their halfbacks coming from Kundan Chaudhary, Matthew Johnston and William Parkhill, an ample supply of good controlled ball was assured for the Town backs, giving them the opportunity to run at the Finn Valley defence. This proved very successful when Matthew Johnston scored another unconverted try near the corner.
Before halftime William Parkhill collected a dropped ball, passed outside to winger Ciaran Neill who scored in the corner. Gary Pattison converted to leave the halftime score 29-0 to Ballymoney.
The second half resumed where the first left off when Gary Pattison caught a long clearance from the Finn Valley scrumhalf. Spotting a chink in the backline, he accelerated through to score another excellent solo try which again he converted.
Ballymoney continued to notch up points. From a ruck the ball was fed outhalf Matthew Bell, He drew the opposing centre, creating space for centre Aaron Brown to take a pass and run in from 30 metres to score another well worked try beside the posts which Pattison converted.
When the Finn Valley forwards tried to move the ball within their five metre line, they lost control of it, and scrumhalf Chris Campbell was on hand to charge over for another good try which Gary Pattison deftly converted. Five minutes later, centre Jack Kane cut inside his opposite number and outpaced the Finn Valley defence to score another superb try which fullback Pattison converted.
In the dying minutes the Ballymoney lads scored again when prop forward Andrew McIlwrath charged over the line to score another well deserved unconverted try, leaving the final score 62-0 to Ballymoney Under 18s.
Man of the Match was Gary Pattison. Praise must go to all the players who worked extremely hard in achieving this win.
The lads now await the draw for the quarter finals which take place on 11 April.