Ballymena RFC U16’s took on Rainey RFC U16s at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt in the Final of the Ulster provincial League final. Ballymena started well putting Rainey under a lot of pressure unfortunately with this intensity Ballymena gave away a few penalties with Rainey deciding to go for the posts missing the first but then converting the second penalty giving Rainey a 3 – nil lead. The lead was short lived with Ballymena pressing on the Rainey defence with well worked phases of play controlled by Fiontan Bradley and James Orr and then a hard run by Cruz McNally who offloaded to James who scored the try giving Ballymena a 5 – 3 lead the try was not converted. Ballymena continued to keep Rainey at bay with try saving tackles from Calvin McNeill, Sam Craig and Daniel McKane, With the pressure Ballymena won a penalty just to the left of the Rainey posts which James Orr converted giving Ballymena an 8 – 3 lead coming to the end of the first half with minutes to go. Unfortunately Ballymena gave a penalty just before the half time whistle with Rainey again choosing to go for the posts leaving the score 8 – 6 to Ballymena.
The second half started with the same intensity which resulted in Rainey winning an early penalty to bring the score to 8 – 9 Rainey. Ballymena then went down to 14 men due to a high tackle but with the added pressure from Rainey the Ballymena forwards Timmy McNabney , Sam McIntyre and Ryan Doole to name but a few held Rainey from getting over the try line on numerous occasions. Eventually the pressure told and Ballymena conceded another Penalty with was converted to give Rainey a 12 – 8 lead with 5 minutes left. Ballymena piled in the pressure with Rainey encamped in their half and powerful runs from Tyrese Dunlop and James Lynn only to be stopped meters from the line and denyed clinching the win. It was not to be Ballymena’s Day but the Ballymena boys will have more chance for cup success with the Ulster Carpets Cup coming in the next couple of weeks.