Ballynahinch Firsts End Season With Loss To Terenure

Ballynahinch Firsts faced champions Terenure at Ballymacarn Park

AIL Division 1,

Venue: Ballymacarn Park, Saturday 6th April,

Ballynahinch 15 34 Terenure.

Storm Kathleen provided a brisk welcome for champions Terenure as they rolled into town seeking the win which would guarantee them a home semi-final writes James Kirk.

Conditions were not as bad as expected but certainly had a bearing on the match with short passes and ball retention the key.

The home side were missing regulars Kyle McCall, Mark Best, James French and Aaron Sexton and there was a distinctly end-of-season feel around Ballymacarn Park after the narrow defeat at Cork Con the previous weekend.

Ryan Wilson surveys his options. (All photos by David Barr ©).

The defeat knocked them out of contention for the play-off places. Kelvin Hamilton, Shay Storey, Scott Connolly and Kyle Gill, Arthur Johnston and veteran Ryan Wilson stepped up to the squad after fine seasons of their own.

Terenure had the wind advantage in the first half and were quickly out of the blocks using their huge pack to pound the Hinch line before finding space for Aaron Egan to touch down.

Along range penalty sent them further ahead before the Ballynahinch maul brought them into the game.

A 15m surge for the line was eventually held up but moments later Player of the Year Claytan Milligan went over after as clever maul variation to get his side on the board.

Bradley Luney touches down.

Lock Bradley Luney then showed superb anticipation to intercept close to the ruck and surge over from the halfway line to bring the scores level.

Terenure stepped the pressure and scored another try and penalty before half-time but Ballynahinch will have felt that they were well in the game as they turned around with the wind.

However, they were careless in possession early in the second half, wasting good field position and allowing Terenure to settle.

Declan Horrox takes on Terenure.

The Dubliners used their weight advantage to slow the game down and milk penalties via a dominant scrum.

Then they landed a killer blow with a third try following an attack up the blind side which was poorly defended by Ballynahinch and stretched their lead with a carbon copy effort on the opposite side to clinch a bonus point.

To their credit Ballynahinch rallied and played well in the final quarter and earned a try when Wilson backed up a fine attack by Matthew Booth and Storey to score.

George Pringle is hard to bring down.

The large Terenure travelling support celebrated at the final whistle as they secured top of the table status and a home semi-final versus Lansdowne.

For Ballynahinch there was certainly a feeling of what might have been but they finished clear in 5th place and consolidated the step forward made last season.

Adam Craig and his team have a busy summer ahead as they seek to hit the ground running in their quest to finally break the glass ceiling and make it into the play-offs.

Kelvin Hamilton makes his presence felt.

Ballynahinch RFC would like to thank its sponsors, volunteers and supporters for their efforts over a long season.

Ballynahinch 1sts: George Saunderson, Claytan Milligan, Kelvin Hamilton, Bradley Luney, Declan Horrox, Reuben Crothers, Zack McCall (Capt), Callum Irvine, Conor McKee, Ryan Wilson, Shay Storey, George Pringle, Ben Carson, Ethan Graham, Conor Rankin, Josh Hanlon, Scott Connolly, Kyl Gill, Chris Gibson, Matthew Booth, Arthur Johnston.