Barnhall 31 – 19 Ballymena
For the second away game in a row, Ballymena were undone by a slow start, this time away to Barnhall. Playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, the team struggled to exit their own territory and some indiscipline allowed Barnhall to pin the 1XV into their own 22 for most of the half.
The home side almost had the bonus point wrapped up inside the first 10 minutes, some uncharacteristic poor defending allowing Barnhall to race into a 19-0 lead. The home side secured their bonus point try before the half time break racing into a 24-0 lead. Ballymena responded just before the half time break with a try of their own giving a glimmer of hope for the second half with conditions at their back.
The wind seemed to die down in the second period and Barnhall got out of the blocks quicker, extending their lead to what looked like an insurmountable 31-5 margin. Ballymena dominated both territory and posession in the second half, however resolute defence from the home side restricted then to 2 late consolation tries from Peter Wallace and Matthew Corr, leaving the final score at 31-19.
The result means Ballymena remain in fourth place, behind Buccaneers on 40 points. Next up is a home match against Dolphin next Saturday 5th March.
Mawhinney, Ferguson, Taggart, J Browne, P Browne, Howe, Lamont, McKee, Wright, McKay, Corr, Baillie, Thompson, Ervine, Crowe
Reps: Mark, Logan, Hargy, Wallace, Ritson