Instonians Overwhelmed In First Half Against Ballynahinch

Conference League – 7 October 2016.

Instonians 14   Ballynahinch RFC 2nd XV  48

Report from Shaw’s Bridge.

With Ulster players unavailable to Ballynahinch 1st XV, it was another very different 2nd XV side that took the field in this Conference League Friday night under lights for this meeting against Instonians 1st XV.

Graham McKittrick breaks from a Hinch scrum. (Photo by Jonny Beattie).
Graham McKittrick breaks from a Hinch scrum. (Photo by Jonny Beattie).

Instonians started badly and had soon conceded six points through early penalties. Worse was to follow when they lost their influential skipper Robert Whitten with an ankle injury. The set piece was suffering as Instonians played second best in both the scrum and lineout, with the young Ballynahinch tight eight dominating the Shaw’s Bridge side.

This meant that Inst could hardly get their hands on the ball and when they did they turned it over cheaply. After 17 minutes, the home side appeared to have averted danger when they turned over a ball in their own 22 only to have a kick charged down. Ballynahinch took the ball through 5-6 very slick phases, before moving it wide to go in for a converted try.

Ten minutes later the County Down side were in again with a pushover try, from an Instonian put into a defensive 5 metre scrum. This try also was converted to put ‘Hinch 0-20 up. Two more tries were to follow before half-time to leave Ballynahinch 0-34 up at the break. Things looked dire for Instonians for the remainder of the game.

However, Instonians used the break to galvanise themselves and the second period was a much less one sided affair. The Belfast side started the second period well and soon gained the momentum winning a penalty 10 metres out and held the ball though well over 20 phases, finally sending the ball wide for winger Misi Bogitini to score in the corner. Out-half Richard McCarthy converted.

Instonians now turned the screw even more, winning five penalties in a row and moved them quickly. Hinch were forced to concede first one yellow card and then a second soon after the Belfast side kept up the relentless pressure and against 13 men had little difficulty adding a second try when their number 8 picked up from an attacking 5 metre scrum to crash over near the posts for a converted try, which brought the score back to 14-34 with 60 minutes gone.

Ballynahinch now under pressure with only 13 men, regained control of the match and came back in the last 10 minutes to score two more converted tries to end the second period 34 points clear of Instonians.

This was an incredible result for a depleted Ballynahinch team, but shows some fantastic strength in depth in the County Down Senior setup.