Ballymena 2XV 24-12 Randalstown 1XV
By: Simon Bennett
Ballymena RFC’s 2XV beat Randalstown in the first round of the Towns Cup on an overcast, grey afternoon at Eaton Park.
Ballymena got off to the perfect start, scoring a try in the opening few minutes through Rhys Ervine. Ritson’s conversion gave Ballymena a 7-point lead. The majority of possession in the opening few minutes was in Randalstown’s half. Matthew Dick added to Ervine’s try and Ritson’s second conversion gave Ballymena a 14-0 lead.
Randalstown began to get a foothold into the game as Ballymena defended their try-line resolutely. Half an hour into the game, Randalstown scored a converted try, reducing Ballymena’s lead to 7 points.
Before the end of the first half, Ballymena’s Ervine executed a well-timed run, winning a penalty. Ritson converted, taking Ballymena’s lead to 16-7 at the break.
At the beginning of the second half, both sides shared possession with Ballymena’s best chance caming from a pair of good runs from Smyth and Montgomery, winning Ballymena a scrum.
On the hour mark, Ballymena’s Wallace scored a try, with Ritson scoring the subsequent conversion, taking the score to 24-7.
Randalstown threatened and a good run from won a free-kick, which went out for a line-out however Ballymena defended their try-line successfully.
A Randalstown line-out led to another try, which went unconverted. Ballymena threatened to extend their lead with two well executed runs from Montgomery and Ervine leading to a scrum. Ballymena’s Henry went on a good run, but dropped the ball, leading to a sigh from the travelling Randalstown support with the match ending 24-12 to Ballymena