Strong first half for Malone saw them come away with all the points against Old Belvedere in this AIL 1B match at Gibson Park on Saturday afternoon.
Malone took an early lead through a Ben McCaughey try in the opening ten minutes. Old Belvedere responded with a pen from Steve Crosbie bringing the score to 5-3. However, Malone continued to put the pressure onto the Dublin side and were rewarded when Adam McBurney crossed after a strong maul close to the line. Callum Smith added the conversion to take the score to 12-3.
The second quarter continued with Malone in control and Old Belvedere struggling to defend. Two tries from David McMaster and a try from Michael Shiels was the reward for Malone’s willingness to attack until the half time whistle. A conversion and a penalty from Rory Campbell brought the half time score to Malone 29 Old Belvedere 3
Old Belvedere enjoyed a strong spell in the third quarter, both in defence and attack. Malone didn’t just rest on their performance and tried to push on, but the Dublin side were able to hold strong.
The visitors finally got their break and Eddie Rossiter was able to cross after good team play. The try injected more energy into Old Belvedere who pushed for more points. However, a break from Campbell saw Joe Dunleavy score from a pick and go close to the line.
The result moves Malone back to 2nd and Old Belvedere slip down to 7th in the AIL 1B. There are only two points between Banbridge, Malone and Ballynahinch at the top of the league after the opening four games.
MALONE: Rory Campbell; David McMaster, Josh Pentland, Nathan Brown, David Irvine; Callum Smith, Shane Kelly; Peter Cooper, Adam McBurney, Ross Kane, Jonathan Davis, Michael Shiels, Joe Dunleavy, Ross Todd, Ryan Clarke. Replacements: Dan Kerr, Ben Halliday, Matthew Agnew, Connor Spence, Ben McCaughey.
OLD BELVEDERE: Daniel Riordan; Jack Keating, David Butler, Jamie McAleese, Peter Maher; Steve Crosbie, Peter O’Beirne; James Bollard, John McKee, Declan Lavery, Jack Kelly, Connor Owende, Karl Miller, Tom de Jongh, Eoin Sweeney. Replacements: Eddie Rossiter, Roman Solanoa, Eoin O’Neill, Fergus Flood, Ben Carty, Adam Howard, Simon Killeen.
Report and Pictures – Beth Cregan