BALLYMONEY FOURTHS 19
LURGAN SECONDS 10
A COLD and wet afternoon saw Lurgan Seconds travel on Saturday past to take on Ballymoney Fourths.
The Lurgan side displaying a mixture of youth and experience and they were determined not just to make up the numbers. From the start both sides set out their stall in what was to be a hard physical game.
For the first quarter it was evenly matched however, just 15 minutes into the game outhalf Stephen Nolan slotted a penalty to give the visitors the lead. Shortly afterwards winger Jack Wilson pounced on a loose ball spilled by the Ballymoney fullback, hacked through and chased the ball from the 22 over the line. As the ball crossed over it looked like it was going to bounce away from him but he managed to dodge the post and ground the ball in an excellent finish. Nolan added the two points from the conversion to give the visitors a 10 point lead.
Ballymoney were not going to let the visitors have it all their own way and with about 10 minutes left in the half they managed to cross the Lurgan line for a well taken score of their own. The Lurgan scrum had been going well but with two minutes left in the first half prop Marty Follis had to retire with a recurrence of an ankle injury. This reduced the scrums to uncontested but apart from this area, the rest of the game was played at a pace and physicality that would not have disgraced any side.
In the second half the Ballymoney side slowly took advantage of having the extra man and ground their way back into the game. In what was undoubtedly their trade mark play, they used their rolling maul with good effect throughout the half and it was this that led to their scoring two further tries, only one of which was converted.
The Lurgan team were not to be intimidated by an aggressive and physical home side however and constantly fought back and played some fine rugby of their own. Flanker Jason Kane displaying some fine footwork on occasion as he foraged around the pitch, carrying ball and generally making ground and putting in a fine defensive display.
Davy Wellwood, making his first appearance for the club, had a good debut. His lineout work and commitment to the breakdowns helped to keep Lurgan in the game. While going down to a final score of 19-10, captain David Harvey can be proud of his sides never say die attitude in a game which they contested fully right to the final whistle.