Ballymena 29 – 12 Rainey
First league game of the Ulster Carpets Prov. League saw Rainey travel to Eaton Park
With Ballymena only able to field 14 men it was going to a big task for Ballymena to get a win against a determined Rainey side.
Ballymena started the match with great determination with powerful tackles from all players to put Rainey on the back foot. Eventually Ballymena broke the deadlock with a well worked try down the left, eventually finished off by Cruz McNally and converted by James Orr. Ballymena continued to show great resistance to Rainey with another well worked try giving Max Mitchell his first try of the season but was un-converted.
Hallway into the first half Ballymena extended their lead with a powerful drive over the Rainey try line for Stuart Holden giving the home team a 19 -0 lead with the try being converted .
Close to the end of half time an unfortunate clash in a tackle, Ballymena ended down to 13 men as Aaron Armstrong had to be taken of the field of play for a cut to the eye requiring stiches.
With the 2 man advantage Rainey started to press and create more momentum going forward resulting in a converted try being scored just before half time.
The second half started with more pressure from Rainey but a very determined Ballymena team eventually forcing Rainey back into their own half and turning the ball over and forcing a second try from Cruz Mcnally unfortunately the try was not converted.
As the second half progressed the mammoth effort the 13 man Ballymena team had put in started to tell and Ballymena end up down to 12 players as Niall Hynds was yellow carded for tripping a Rainey player. With this advantage Rainey upped the pressure and got another try which was unconverted bringing the score to 24 – 12.
With ten minutes to go, Rainey scoring this try seemed to spur the Ballymena team on with immense passion they fought and gained the reward of a try 5 minutes from the end giving a final score 29 – 12 win for Ballymena.
Tries: Cruz McNally 2, Zac Carmichael, Max Mitchel, Stuart Holden