Ballynahinch hero Thompson steals show
Two promising young newcomers, Ballynahinch's James Thompson and Dungannon's Michael Lawton, showed their potential when they steered their respective clubs to convincing victories in the First Trust Senior League on Saturday.
Out-half Thompson, who formerly played for Ulster Juniors and Dromore, scored 24 points in his team's 46-3 success at Rainey while winger Lawton accumulated 21 points in Malone’s 41-18 victory.
Hinch, after leading 13-3 at half time at Magherafelt piled on the pressure after the restart against a weakened Rainey and ran in a total of six tries.
The talented Thompson scored four with two conversions while Stuart Morrow and David Drake had a try each.
Drake also had two penalties and three conversions while Mark O'Connor kicked the home penalty.
Dungannon, who along with Ballynahinch, Ballymena and City of Derry, have the maximum 10 points after two fixtures, were much too strong at Gibson Park.
“We held them up front,” commented Raymond Thomas.
“But their three-quarters were much too speedy against our young backs.
“After last week's defeat of Quins we thought we had a chance but there was a difference in class.”
Lawton scored two tries, a penalty and four conversions, the others coming from Stuart Lester (2), Colin Gaston and Adam Dunhig.
Malone's Josh Pentland kicked two penalties and one conversion to tries from David Halliday and Ricky McCullough.
Ballymena march on with a 29-7 win against an Ards team playing their first game in the competition.
Andrew Fraser (2), Roger McBurney, and Andrew Kerr were the try scorers while Gareth Fisher had a penalty and two conversions.
Rory Drysdale also added the points to one while Stuart Paul converted Taylor Ferguson's try for Ards.
Elsewhere, the lead fluctuated many times but City of Derry, with two late tries within minutes of each other, defeated Belfast Harlequins (35-34) at Judge's Road.
Quins were unfortunate to lose Michael Allen with a knee injury early on and then Ulster squad scrum-half Michael Heaney was only used for half of the encounter.
It was a game of missed opportunities when Banbridge overcame a weakened Queen's (16-3) at Rifle Park.
Robin Thompson kicked three penalties and converted a Michael Cromie try and Davy Kenny had a penalty for the students.