DUNGANNON III 18
BALLYMONEY II 32
With a run of better results starting to take shape, Ballymoney II took a trip to Dungannon looking to add another win to the league campaign.
Having won convincingly at home, team manager Sam McAllister was confident coming into the game, but knew that Dungannon had rallied to score 30 points in the second half, in the home fixture.
So when Dungannon crossed the line after just 5 minutes, the alarm bells started to go off.
But the side has developed a mental toughness over the past few weeks, and immediately responded with a try for Steele just 3 minutes later. Irwin missed the conversion.
On 17 minutes, Simon McCrea added a try, this time converted by Irwin, but then two more penalties in quick succession brought the score to 11-12 as half time approached. But the tone of the half time talk changes as David Rea skipped over for a trademark touchdown as the period drew to a close.
Picking the ball up off his toes inside his own 10m line, from a Dungannon clearance, he danced around two chasing defenders and went off on a mazy run down the right wing, stepping past oncoming defenders. Crossing the Dungannon 10m line he stepped inside, ghosting past the defending midfield, before dazzling the full back and winder inside their 22, to touch down midway between the posts and the touch line on the left side. Manager McAllister rated it as “possibly the best try I have seen all season”.
Irwin missed the conversion to leave the score 11-17 at the midpoint.
The second half went much more smoothly for a change. Tries for Holmes on 45 minutes, McCollum on 55 minutes, both from lineout mauls - with Joel Hegarty accurate in the lineout after six weeks out through injury.
A try for Irwin on 60 minutes, finishin a set of team phases, put clear distance between the sides. Irwin in particular was pleased to cross the line, having missed so many conversions for the rest of the game!
Despite a late consolation for the home side, Ballymoney came away with a strong 18-32 win, away from home, against a side that are always competitive. Manager McAllister observed later “All in all, probably he best show of rugby that I have seen all season”.
With a busy festive season approaching, the Twos need to pick up a few more wins to be comfortable of their league position.
This week Ballymoney II are at home to Rainey, before a festive trip to Clogher Valley on the 27th of December.
Ballymoney II: Daniel McCord, Joel Heggarty, Matthew Blair, Andrew Millar, Neal Mulholland, Nathanael McCollum, Callum Macdonald, David Holmes, Matthew Pollock, Matthew Dunlop, David Rea, Nathaniel Steele, John Laughlin, Simon McCrea, Russell Irwin, Andy Brown, Chris Clarke