Toon lads bring Ulster Bowl back to Kilraughts Road

The victorious Ballymoney Under-18s who won the Ulster Carpets Bowl on Saturday.
The victorious Ballymoney Under-18s who won the Ulster Carpets Bowl on Saturday.

After a long but very successful season, Ballymoney Under-18s brought the silverware back to the Kilraughts Road Club.

The lads from the Toon produced a convincing performance to defeat Finn Valley RFC 72-10 in the final of the Ulster Carpets Bowlat the Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Cookstown. With most of the team moving into the senior club next season this was a fitting end for the squad who have produced some great rugby this season.

In excellent conditions and in a strong breeze, Ballymoney set out their stall from the start putting pressure on Finn Valley with strong rucking and speedy passing.

First half scores from scrumhalf Chris Campbell, second row, Matthew McConaghy and centre Aaron Brown saw the Ballymoney side lead 17-10 at the interval.

Playing with a stiff breeze in their backs in the second half the Town lads went on the offensive, pinning Finn valley into their own half for the remainder of the game.

Tries from hooker Ben Graham, Outhalf Matthew Bell, Centre Aaron Brown, Fullback Gary Pattison, Number eight Matthew Johnston, Winger Ciaran Neill, Outside centre Jack Kane and scrumhalf Chris Campbell left the final scoree 72-10 to Ballymoney.

This was a marvellous team performance from every player, who gave their all from start to finish and contributed to making this a terrific contest. Man of The Ulster Carpets Bowl was presented to Captain Ben Graham by Ulster Youth Representative, Towie Neill before all players received their winners’ medals.

Coach Uel McDowell commented: “The Under 18s are delighted that their effort and commitment throughout the season has paid dividends. They are proud to have brought the Ulster Carpets Bowl back to Ballymoney.

“They have been great ambassadors for the Club this year, in their sportsmanship and determination to fulfil their potential. Many of these young men will be moving on to the Senior ranks at Ballymoney RFC next season and they will certainly be an asset to the Club.“