Larne Grammar 3 Dalriada 23
After a series of tough games Dalriada travelled to Larne for a match they expected to win. They got off to a good start, getting the ball deep in the opposition 22.
After a run of good drives from the Dalriada forwards the ball was spread wide for Robert Hunter to get over the line for the opening try which was converted by Rory Strang. After this great start Dalriada let their form slip giving Larne a penalty just outside their 22 which Larne scored. Dalriada got back on track running the ball through the backs to get back into the Larne half.
With good ball retention from the forwards the backs were, again, able to spread the ball wide, this time to the other wing allowing Michael Finnerty to go over under the posts. Again Strang converted. Dalriada refused to let their form slip again, instead they got deep into the Larne half. Quick ball allowed the ball to be spread wide and a good line from Stuart Fallows allowed him to power through the defensive line and score under the posts. Strang converted again, giving them a 21-3 lead.
Larne stepped up their game, keeping the ball away from the Dalriada forwards and making their way up the field. Dalriada couldn’t keep possession, giving away silly penalties and knock ons. Dalriada nearly got a fourth try in the dying minutes of the half with an intercept from Finnerty but the referee blew it up for a Larne advantage. They went into the break with a promising 21-3 lead.
The second half was an equal contest with Larne stepping up to match Dalriada physically. Neither team could create the chances they needed to score but both teams put up a physical contest in the midfield. Dalriada again gave away too many penalties, allowing Larne to make their way up the pitch but a strong Dalriada defence stopped them from crossing the line.
Dalriada had to rely greatly on their forwards to make their way up the pitch but a lack of precision stopped them from scoring. The Dalriada players became frustrated by these mistakes which allowed the Larne team to exploit the defence. But a good run from Andy McWilliams, shrugging off six Larne players allowed them to get into the opposition half but failed to convert the chance into points. Both teams defensive lines held strong, keeping the final score at 21-3.