Welcome to Ballymena RFC @ Eaton Park – Est 1887

Ballymena’s season finished with a disappointing loss at home to Blackrock College. In a high scoring game that entertained the crowd following a sold out pre match lunch, the sides shared nine tries between them. 

Ross McKay opened the scoring with a penalty in the opening minutes, however this was the last time that the home side were to hold the lead in the game. Ballymena’s tendency for slow starts this season cost them again.  

Blackrock looked to be the hungrier side from the start, with an outside chance of securing automatic promotion if Queen’s University slipped up for the second season in a row. The visitors outscored their hosts by four tries to one in the first half thus securing the bonus point before the break. A combination of poor defence and some expansive play reaping the rewards. 

Ballymena’s only response was a penalty try from a well executed maul. From a James Taggart throw in, the maul looked certain to go over when a Blackrock infringement illegally stopped the momentum. 

Half time score: Ballymena 10 – 24 Blackrock 

Andy Hughes and his coaching team had words of encouragement at half time and the home team came out in the second half looking much more determined. Ballymena dominated possession for long period of the third quarter but had little reward before Curtis Henry finally broke the line, bringing the game to within a score. 

Disappointingly for the home fans, Blackrock looked like the had secure victory with their fifth try of the game into the last quarter with a lead of 31-17. 

Club captain Glenn Baillie, in only his second game back after a long injury layoff, had other ideas and gave Ballymena a glimmer of hope after darting over from close range, McKay converted to bring the scores to within 7 points. 

At this stage, Ballymena were plating all the rugby, trying to play an expansive game from their own half. Callum Patterson spotted a lack of cover in the Blackrock back field and kicked through for Rhys Ervine to chase. Ervine beat the covering defence to score in the corner. Ross McKay who has been impressive off the tee all season, added the difficult conversion from a tight angle to level the score at 31 apiece going into the last few minutes. 

Not content at sharing the spoils, and still believing they had a chance at automatic promotion, Blackrock pressed ahead to win the game. Unfortunately for the home side, a ruck infringement was given by the referee and afforded the visitors an opportunity to win the game with a last minute penalty. Blackrock 10 Peter Quirke duly obliged and slotted the penalty to win the game at 34-31. 


Mark, Ferguson, Mawhinney, J. Browne, P. Browne, Howe, McKeeman, Riley, Robson, McKay, Henry, Patterson, Crowe, Ervine, Thompson. 

Reps: Taggart, McWhirter, Fleck, McBurney, Baillie.