Larne RFC christened their new floodlights last night with the first leg of back to back U21 matches last night. The second leg takes place at The Cloughan next Wednesday.
It’s a testament to the hard work of the clubs development coaches that they were able to field two strong sides at this age grade and I hope it’s an initiative that continues.
Ballyclare certainly hit the ground running with two tries in the first five minutes with Ross Patterson and Ewan Wasson crossing.
Larne finally got into gear an a period of pressure in the Ballyclare 22 ended with Jack Hill going over out wide from a maul. Callum McKay converted expertly from the touchline to take the score to 7 – 10.
Callum McKay sends a conversion on it’s way for Larne.
The high tempo continued with Matty McCullough powering over for Ballyclare’s third and a break shortly after saw James Nelson cross under the posts for Mark Jackson to convert.
Larne stayed in the hunt with a long range try by fullback Stuart Andrews, converted by McKay, taking the score to 14 -22.
However, Ballyclare had the final say in a dominant first half with Callum McConnell scoring from close range. Jackson’s conversion took the half time score to Larne 14 Ballyclare 29.
The try rate slowed somewhat in the second half but it was no less entertaining for that. Larne began to get on top in the scrum but Ballyclare still edged proceedings.
Ballyclare’s Wasson picked up his second try shortly after resumption but the Larne pack got themselves into a good position close to the Ballyclare line for Callum Critchley to score.
Callum McConnell slides home for the final try of the game.
The visitors added some icing on the scoreline with two late tries. Jackson jinked through for the first out on the right and McConnell crossed for his second out on the left with the final play of the game. Jackson converting.
Final Score: Larne 19 Ballyclare 46