Ballynahinch 4’s 17 Bangor 2’s 0
Daniel Carson reports from Ballymacarn Park
Ballynahinch were greeted by heavy rain and strong winds after their fortnight off as they maintained top spot in Junior 2 with a hard fought victory over a powerful Bangor side. Playing in swamp-like conditions across the road at Ballymacarn Park it was clear that it was not a day to throw the ball wide. A lack of preparation before the game due to the tardiness of some players meant Hinch started slowly but good tactical kicking and solid defence forced Bangor on to the back foot, they conceded a penalty for offside which gave Matthew Norton the relatively simple task of giving his side the lead.
Shortly after this Gareth Murdock was forced off the field with an ankle injury occurring after a typically aggressive hit on a Bangor forward. Down to 14 men ‘Hinch had to fight hard. Well organised defence lead by the impressive Nicky Jones and underrated Stuart Hodges kept Bangor at bay. The only try of the game came from the persistence of scrum half Daniel Carson who dived on a loose ball over the line after Jonny Napier had put pressure on the Bangor line out. Norton failed to convert. Napier was hugely influential in the loose, the big second row could and should have scored a couple of tries had his captain been able to find him with a pass. Another Norton penalty left the half time score at 11-0.
As if to defy belief the weather actually worsened for most of the second half putting pay to any kind of flowing rugby. With a helpful wind Norton was capably assisted by Carson and Mark Douglas in pegging Bangor back in their own half. Hinch were happy to keep Bangor at arms length and centres McCavery and Edgar snuffed out most of their counterparts advances. With Niall Montgomery off the field receiving treatment for a nasty head wound Norton kicked another penalty and shortly after put the game out of reach with a tremendous touchline penalty attempt which sailed through the uprights.
This win consolidates the Fourths position at the top of the league boasting an undefeated record so far with captain Carson leading in the try scoring stakes.
Final Score: Ballynahinch 4s 17 Bangor 2s 0