Key win as Seconds beat Ballyclare

Lurgan skipper David Wellwood in action against Ballyclare. Pics by David Holmes photography.
Lurgan skipper David Wellwood in action against Ballyclare. Pics by David Holmes photography.

Lurgan Seconds travelled to Ballyclare on Saturday for a game to decide who moved into third in the junior 5 league.

A minutes silence before kick-off was respectfully observed by both sides in memory of Lurgan member Jim Allen.

Ballyclare started strongly and retained possession for several phases before the first scrum of the game after a Ballyclare knock on. Lurgan’s front five quickly established their dominance with a rock solid scrum and Lurgan cleared their lines with a superb McIlwaine kick deep into the home sides half. From this position the Lurgan line out jumpers Wellwood and Lyness forced a turnover for the back line to exploit, McIlwaine, Wallace and Stevenson all combined to create a break for McIlwaine to finish with the first try of the game which was duly converted.

The Ballyclare re start was kicked short of the requisite 10 meters and the ensuing Lurgan scrum allowed the back line to again wreak havoc with Wamsley leading the charge.

Lurgan with the wind behind them were able to gain great field position from a desperate Ballyclare clearing kick. The subsequent line out was won by Lyness and the Lurgan men executed a text book driving maul and after the ball went wide through the backs No 8 Jason Kane blasted across to score from 10 meters out, Jordan McIlwaine duly added the conversion.

The hosts did try to get themselves back into contention and had a rare foray into Lurgan’s half but resolute defending from Wamsley, Johnston and Stevenson closed the door firmly and Lurgan again using the rolling maul piled the pressure back on. The Ballyclare side were penalised for side entry at the ruck and from 5 meters out no one was stopping Mathew Laird who scored his first try of the season. McIlwaine kicked the conversion.

Approaching half time and with Lurgan again camped in the hosts 22 player coach Jason Wallace had to leave the field with a shoulder injury sustained while attempting to dive over the line from short range.

After half time and leading 21-0 Lurgan were searching for a bonus point try they were unfortunate to concede a score when a knock on from Lurgan was kicked through and chased to the line where the Ballyclare winger narrowly won the foot race.

Lurgan were awarded a penalty in the Ballyclare 22, chose to kick the points and McIlwaine did the honours with ease however the next phase of play again saw the hosts hack the ball behind Lurgan to score a second try.

This was enough to spur Lurgan on and Danny Lyness forced Ballyclare into conceding a 5m scrum. A pick up from the base of the scrum saw Jason Kane smash his way across for his second score.

Lurgan now really turned the screw and Matthew Laird was able to get his second try after some strong carries from Goode, Thompson and Desron.

Man of the match award went to Jason Kane.