Larne Grammar suffered a setback after returning from their tour to Canada losing to a slick Dalriada 7 – 26 on Saturday morning at Cairncastle Road.
The opening exchanges were fairly cagey with both teams testing their opponents defence. Larne’s front row of Sam McWhirter, Ryan McAllister and Marc Robinson showed well in the initial scrums but it was the visitors who got the early advantage when a scrappy clearance kick was returned with interest by Ewan Strang who went over on the right. Fullback John Laughlin added the extras to give Dalriada a seven point lead.
Larne worked their way back into the game and were rewarded with a penalty chance which was pushed wide. A second penalty followed but the subsequent catch and drive was held up and Dalriada were able to clear and work their way up field.
The visitors made the most of their chances and from an attacking line out the ball was quickly moved left for the impressive Jonny McMullan to break the line and go over under the posts. Laughlin converted taking the halftime score to Larne 0 Dalriada 14.
The Grammar started the second half in determined fashion and kept Dalriada pinned in their own half for the bulk of the third quarter. The home side eventually got their reward after a period on the Dalriada line when wing forward Alan Murray was driven over for a try under the posts. Out half Philip Andrews converted taking the score to 7 – 14.
Unfortunately for the Larne this was a sign for Dalriada to cut loose which the Ballymoney side did with some style, dominating the final quarter. The visitors were rewarded with McMullan bagging his second try, in the corner, quickly followed by Jack McGee breaking from deep to score under the posts with a flamboyant dive. Laughlin converted the latter to take the final score to Larne 7 Dalriada 26.
Larne Grammar: Sam McWhirter, Ryan McAllister, Marc Robinson, Mark Estop, Ross Williamson, Alan Murray, Ethan Kerr, Callum Patton, Robert McKinley, Philip Andrews, Bryan Hamill, Jamie Johnston, Aaron Carter, Nathan McCullough, Aaron McBride, Core Burleigh.
Dalriada: Sam Kyle, Thomas Procter, Peter McCulley, Stuart Mulholland, Mathew Glenn, Andy Skelton, David Campbell, Roger Boner, Rhys McAuley, Ben Henderson, Jack McGee, Jonny McLaughlin, Jonny McMullen, Ewan Strang, John Laughlin.