Ballymena Academy entertained Royal Belfast Academical Institution in the U16 Cup on Saturday morning at the Academy grounds.
Report and images by Nick Murray.
Ballymena came out of the blocks like they were in a 100m sprint and within a minute Michael McLean went over, out wide, for the first score.
Inst hit back with 5 minutes of pressure in the Ballymena half but they were unable to break the home side’s defensive line. However Inst’s pressure eventually led to Ballymena’s Reece Williamson getting 10 minutes in the bin for a dangerous tackle.
The visitors continued to press, with a man advantage but Ballymena held firm and the teams changed ends with the home team still defending their 5 point advantage.
Five minutes into the second half Williamson makes good on his previous indiscretion with a try of his own to take Ballymena’s lead to 10 – 0 but despite a couple of turnovers in midfield the home side were unable to add to their lead.
Inst kept working away looking for a score but what promised to be a high scoring game ended up as a battle where not getting beaten was the order of the day as defences dominated in the final stages the game ending without further score.
All-in-all Ballymena the deserved victors.