Ballynahinch 2nd XV v Ballyclare 1st XV
Hinch 47 – Ballyclare 12
Chris Parker reports from Ballymacarn Park
With several changes to the side from last week the 2’s new facing the leaders of Qualifying 2 wasn’t going to be an easy task. Hinch began the game playing into a stiff breeze. Hinch started the game brightly but it was Ballyclare who used the wind to their advantage pushing Hinch back into their own half.
The 2’s retained possession well and after numerous phases in the ‘Clare half, Robbie Greer found himself in space in midfield and he made a great line break before stepping the full back to go in for the try, the conversion was unsuccessful.
Ballyclare responded positively and piled the pressure on the Hinch line but the defence stood firm, unfortunately once Hinch turned over ball they where failing to find touch with their clearances and the pressure was right back on them again. This told after Arneill had been sin binned, Ballyclare worked an overlap to go in at the right hand corner, the conversion was successful.
A good restart by McBriar allowed Hinch to regain possession and again excellent retention of the ball led to an overlap being created and Heatley strolling in at the corner, McBriar converted from wide out to put Hinch 12-7 ahead
Hinch failed to see out the lead to half time and allowed Ballyclare in for an unconverted try as they drove over from a lineout but at 12 all at half time and with the wind behind in the second half the 2’s were confident. The backs looked dangerous for Hinch and from a scrum on the half way line Cullen put Heatley through a hole in the midfield and he drew the full back before passing to Arneill who sent Nicholson in, McBriar added the extras.
Hinch began to play some excellent rugby with Faloon and Greer punching holes through the middle and giving the outside backs plenty of space. Greer got the 4th try when he again received ball in midfield before palming off a few defenders to score, McBriar converted to bring the score to 26-12.
Hinch continued to play with confidence with McBriar forcing the Ballyclare side back into their own 22, from a turnover Hinch managed to recycle the ball and after numerous efforts at the ‘Clare line, Donaldson saw a gap at the side of a ruck and dived over, McBriar converted.
Donnan took the restart and offloaded to Greer and he set off on a run that left defenders in his wake but the cover defence managed to scrag him 5m from the try line but he showed good awareness to offload to Faloon who scored, McBriar again did the needful with the conversion.
Hinch where clinical until the end and from a great inside ball McMullan broke from the 10m line and stepped the full back to go in under the posts, McBriar again converted to bring the score to 47-12. On the last play of the game Hinch moved the ball off a lineout and Nicholson went in for what the home support was an excellent try only for it to be disallowed due to a forward pass.
This was a fantastic performance by the 2’s against a very good Ballyclare side. Hinch next week are away to Cooke in the Junior Cup Quarter Final and all support would be welcome at Shaws Bridge.
Team – C. Saunders, J. Heatley, M. Arneill, J. Cullen, D. Nicholson, J. McBriar, B. McMullan, N. Faloon, J. Donaldson, J. McMullan, J. Donnan, R. Greer, A. Samuels, C. Phillips, D. Maguire.