Championship 2: Randalstown 14 Ballymoney 17

Published Categorised as 2021-22, Ballymoney RFC, Club Rugby Men, Randalstown RFC, Ulster Championship D2 Tagged , , ,
Ballymoney see off a second half comeback by Randalstown to win this Championship 2 game by 3 points.

I don’t know why people fork out £100’s to go and watch pumped up pros run round the Aviva in the latest too tight shirt when there are stacks of little gems like this mid Antrim derby on the doorstep.

Neither side has had the greatest of starts to their Championship 2 campaign, both sitting on 2 wins from 5 prior to the game, but this was the game they both wanted to win.

Randalstown started strongly and kept Ballymoney pinned in their own half for most of the first quarter. However, they were unable to break down the Ballymoney defence and a break out try, finished off out wide by Jason Clyde after a couple of phases, set the tone for the game.

Ballymoney’s Jason Clyde crossed twice in the first half against Randalstown.

The match resumed in a similar pattern with Randalstown enjoying the bulk of possession though the play was mostly round the middle of the park with neither side truly dominating. However a couple of bustling runs from ‘Money’s No 7 saw them in the red zone late in the half and Clyde bustled over again in the same corner for his second try to give Ballymoney a 10 – 0 lead at the break.

Early pressure from the visitors, at the start of the second half, ended when a misplaced pass was swept up by Marty Irwin who rounded the wrong footed defence to finish up under the posts. James Cleland converted to give Ballymoney a 17 – 0 advantage and the game looked lost for Randalstown with well over 30 minutes remaining.

Marty Irwin rounds the defence to score for Ballymoney at the start of the second half.

However, the home side had other ideas and just over 15 minutes later they found the try line through Fergal McCann of the back of a maul. David McWhirter added the extras and it looked like he had pushed the score along to 10 – 17 minutes later only for his penalty strike to be called wide by the referee.

Randalstown start their comeback with a Fergal McCann try mid way through the second half.

It was a crucial call in the end as Randalstown continued to pile into the attack. They were rewarded with a penalty try minutes before the end to take the score to 14 – 17 but try as they might they were unable to find that missing three points and the game ended with McWhirter sending a long range speculative penalty wide to give Ballymoney the win.

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