Saturday 10th October 2020 saw Ballymena Rugby Football club travel to Upritchard Park, Bangor to take on Bangor Rugby Football Club in the Community Series.
Bangor opened the scoring early with a try inside the first 5 minutes when A Smyth pushed he way over for a try close to the posts. It was easy conversion for the number 10 Mark Best who made it 7-0 to the hosts.
A scoring swing took place when Bangor repeatedly handed away penalties in front of the posts which allowed Ballymena’s number 10 Tim Small to convert 4 penalty’s in 10 minutes to allow Ballymena to lead Bangor by 12points to 7.
Bangor quickly rectified the scoreline with a super try scored when A Smyth collected the ball from a ruck and made a darting run across the whitewash to level the match at 12 a piece when Best was unable to convert the points.
Ballymena showed more resolve when they kept the scoreboard running with another penalty converted by Small who again took Ballymena back into the lead with a scoreline of 12-15 after only 35 minutes of play.
The last few minutes of the half produced some crowd pleasing scores when Bangor took back the lead when Weir pushed his way over for a try close to the posts and set up the chance for Best to knock 2 more points over, taking Bangor’s total to 19 points.
With the clock being dead Ballymena had the last say in the first half when Peter Crowe beat a number of defenders to dive over.
The solid boot of Small converted the try to end the half with a scoreline of 19 – 23 in Ballymena’s favour.
The excitement continued in the second half with both teams fighting hard throughout. Bangor opened the scoring when another forward number 6 Bradford dotted it down to retake the lead. Best converted another to edge Bangor to 26 = 22.
Ballymena shot straight back with some scintillating open field play to set up Small to score beside the posts. Unfortunately for Small, following a lovely try he had his attempted conversion charged down. Scoreline now 26-27.
The back and forth continued when Bangor retook the lead as Smyth got his hat trick after Bangor pushed their way across Ballymena’s line. Best was unable to add the 2 points.
Bangor now leading 31-27.
Ballymena immediately stuck back when 3 minutes later number 19 made his way across the line with a game changing one handed pick up at full tilt. Small’s safe boot continued when he converted to take Ballymena back into the lead with 20 minutes to go. Bangor 31- Ballymena 34
With the game nearing the end, Bangor took control when got across the whitewash once more and Best knocked the extra 2 over to take Bangor back ahead at 38-34.
Bangor had the last say when Ballymena conceded a penalty which allowed Best to add 3 more to his impressive daily total.
Final Score: Bangor 41 Ballymena 34.
Gallery below by Davie Hayes Photography.