We tried to cover three U18 Club matches on Saturday but, unfortunately, this was the only one that was played.
On a dull morning in Ballyclare, a depleted Ballyclare side (having to borrow 2 opposition players) took on Malone.
Report and images by Nick Murray
Despite the gloom, the opening exchanges were bright enough, with Malone having the edge in both possession and territory. The opening score finally came in the 14th minute when Malone’s Rudi Martin went over.
The next quarter of an hour was a similar pattern with Malone doing most of the pressing, but stepped it up a gear in the last 10 minutes of the half, going over another 4 times before half-time to finish the game off as a contest. The first from Euan Burrows, and then the lively Leon Cox, which was converted by Leon Thornton to take the score to 0-17.
Malone’s Nathan Crawford then went over, again converted by Thornton. Finally, a panicked clearance kick from Ballyclare was excellently grabbed in both hands by Cox who went over under the posts for his second try of the half to take the half-time score to 0 – 31 in Malone’s favour.
The second half kicked off to a brief glimpse of sunshine, but the clouds soon returned at Ballyclare after 10 minutes as Malone’s Martin got his second score to stretch the lead to 36 unanswered points.
Malone’s Patrick Lyons got in on the act soon after and the rout was rounded off shortly after when Malone’s Bradley Robinson showboated the grounding and took the dropkick conversion himself to round off the scoring.
A depleted Ballyclare side who to their credit fought hard to the end, were simply outclassed by a Malone side once they got into gear.
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