Ards 1XV 6 – 35 Ballymena 2XV
The seconds travelled the Ards 1st XV to continue their Conference League section of the season.
After an error ridden start to the game we were unsuccessful with a very kickable penalty.
Despite having a few issues at scrum time Ballymena we able to get some set piece ball. Eoin Ritson opened the scoring with an excellent individual ‘dancing’ try. The try was converted by Finlay Walker.
The first of two yellow cards came after about twenty-five minutes. Thomas Bovill was accused of a high tackle. The resulting penalty made the score 7-3. Ballymena, however, responded with their own penalty by Finlay Walker a matter of minutes later. 10-3.
Ballymena really kicked into life with just 14 men on the park. From a kick off Matthew Dick showed great feet beating a handful of defenders. Both Stuart Donald and Paddy James then made considerable inroads into the Ards defence before spreading the ball to winger Curtis Henry to run in uncontested. An excellent team score! 15-3
Following the return of Bovill, solid ball retention and phase play continued to challenge the Ards defensive line. Curtis Henry scored again, this time on his opposite wing, showing great hunger and work rate to make the half time score 20-3.
A slow start in the second half allowed Ards back on the scoreboard with a penalty. Walker responded with his own penalty shorty after making the score 23-6
Andrew Ferguson was then yellow carded for repeated infringements. Ballymena however were not deterred by being limited to 14 players. Curtis Henry rounded off his hat trick after finding a hole in midfield and finished untouched. Walker converted making the score 30-6.
Our final unconverted score was finished by Paddy James after some fluent handling. The final whistle was blown 15 minutes early through an Ards request with the final score sitting at 35-6
Ballymena’s young 2nd XV side continue to impress and are looking forward to welcoming Donaghadee in the Junior Cup at Eaton Park next week!
Curtis Henry is worthy of a special mention for his hat trick and Man of the Match performance.
Whilst this was a very positive scoreline there are still many areas for development in this young side if we are to move up to the next level. There is certainly an abundance of talent, heart and the attitude to be able to do so!
Many thanks to Ards for a very hospitable welcome especially post match. Best wishes for the remainder of the season…
9. Henry S
11. Henry C
13 . Agnew C
14. Lewis (c)
16. Ferguson A