Hinch Minis Beat Civil Service At Stormont Pavilion

Civil Service P7’s v Ballynahinch P7’s 

(Report from Stormont Pavilion on 13 December 2014.)

Ballynahinch RFC Mini Section travelled en masse to the grounds of Stormont to take on Civil Service RFC Mini Section on a bitterly cold December morning.

Whilst performances across all Age Groups were very notable, it came down to the experienced Ballynahinch P7’s to put on the performance of the day, supported by Ballynahinch RFC President David Napier.

In a 40-minute match, played in four quarters of 10 minutes each (as IRFU Mini Regulations dictate), a much larger Civil Service P7 squad took on the regulars of Ballynahinch P7s.

The first quarter saw the visitors take the game straight to the very confident home side with the now typical Hinch gusto. Excellence forwards play in the ruck and the maul from Hinch stalwart Ross Graham saw the Civil Service U11s rocked backwards with little in response. The capable halfback partnership of Benjamin Hart and Brian Mitchell worked the ball wide to the reliable wingers Darragh Hanlon and Jedd Campbell who constantly probed and tested the Service defence.

A series of tries for the visitors saw nearly all hands involved for the County Down boys and strong defence regularly resisted any counter attack that Service offered. Great ball carrying from Reuben McKibben and Joseph Dooley allowed the supporting forwards of Kai Shields, Anthony Donnelly and Fraser Harrower to do some dogged work on the ground to secure the Hinch ball in the loose.

The regularity of service from astute scrum half Benjamin Hart ensured that the darting Brian Mitchell was able to scythe through the Service defence on several occasions and with quick ball through the hands of Henry Johnston to his charging wingers Campbell and Hanlon, the scores came quick and fast.

The middle two quarters saw Service strengthen their defence and use their big forwards to carry the ball deep into the Hinch half. With a full change of squad for the visitors and the Civil Service Referee’s whistle only working when Hinch had the ball, the fresh (and cold!) County Down legs took some time to get working, allowing Service to get a couple of tries on the score sheet.

Able work in defence from Jack Owens, Cameron Nannery and Finian Cross stopped several Service attacks. Up and coming forward, Edward Martin worked hard in the loose, supported by some good work from Luke Dunlop in working the ball forward along with Ciaran Flynn.

The final 15 minutes saw several rolling substitutions from both sides and with the County Down squad re-strengthened with the starting 10, the match was turned back in favour of the visitors.

Two notable tries were scored to round off an excellent match. Darragh Hanlon received the ball on the hoof after excellent set piece work at the scrum from the Hinch forwards secured the ball for Hart to move the ball wide to Hanlon who outpaced the defence to run in from his own defensive area.

The final try of the match saw the Service Referee remember to finally to penalize his own players for entering a ruck from the side and from the mark, quick thinking from scrum half Hart saw him swiftly tap and pop the ball to Kai Shields for him to, literally, stroll over the line.

Another strong and notable performance from the Hinch U11’s who, on a cold and challenging morning, took on a larger Civil Service U11 squad who had yet to have the balance of tries go against them and any other match.

Hot mulled wine (for the parents) and selection boxes (for the kids) were very kindly laid on by the hosts and very much appreciated by the travelling parents and kids.

This Saturday sees local rivals Banbridge Minis travel to Ballymacarn to take on all age groups – 9.30am meet for a 10am kick-off.