Ballymoney won their first ever Powerade Towns Cup in an exciting finish at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.
Clogher Valley certainly looked firm favourites after only conceding one try against a gusting wind in the first half and when the Valley scored early in the second half it looked all over for the Co. Antrim side.
However with minutes to go a period of sustained pressure on the Clogher line saw Johnny Hanna force his way over for the winning score.
Both sides played a conservative game in the first half with neither side moving the ball much past their halfbacks. Ballymoney controlled the territory playing with a strong wind at their back but Clogher defended exceptionally well and dominated the rucks. Eventually the pressure told and Ballymoney got a breakthrough with Jason Taggart powering over the line for the opening score late in the first half taking the score to 0 – 5.
Clogher used the wind well at the start of the second half and pinned Ballymoney in their own 22 and quickly levelled the score when No 8 BJ Wilson sprinted clear to score under the posts. Aaron Best converted to give the Fermanagh side the lead. 7 – 5
Andy Breen extended Clogher’s lead on 57 minutes with an interception on the halfway line, sprinting clear to score under the posts with Best converting. 14 – 5
With Clogher playing the elements it looked all over for Ballymoney but they eventually fought their way back into the game with some excellent close play from Nelson, Taggart and Hanna in particular continually breaking the gain line. Ballymoney got their just rewards with Martin Irwin slotting a 60th minute penalty. To take the score to 14 – 8, but Clogher still looked favourites.
Ballymoney refused to be defeated and further good work led to a period of sustained pressure in the Clogher 22 and they got their second try on 70 minutes when flanker Johnny Hanna forced his way over for the winning try. Irwin converted to give Ballymoney a precious one point lead. 14 – 15
Clogher had a few chances in the dying minutes of the game with Ali Breen coming close but Ballymoney managed to hold on for a famous victory.
Ballymoney: J Cleland, T J McCaw, K Thompson, C Beverland, C Watson M Irwin, B Nicolas, A Ramage, D Watson, A Houston, A Graham, D Platt, J Hanna, J Taggart, D Campbell. Replacements: P Irvine, R Clyde, A Surgenor, R Brace, S Nelson.
Clogher Valley: Ali Breen, Andy Breen, D Dunlop, PC Faulkner, J McClure, W Lyons, A Best, P Moore, A Duhig, G Andrews, D Sharkey I Dunn, H Richmond, G Giles, BJ Wilson. Replacements: R Bell, J McFarland, L Weir, D Speer, R Fleming.