Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Braidmen a Shawe thing on debut day

Ballymena proved too strong for Ballynahinch in their Senior League clash (32-20) at Ballymacarn Park.

Ballymena won 32-20 in their first outing in the competition.

Simon Shawe was the key man while the formidable back row of Paul Smith, Sam McKinney and Ross Hackney, gave strong support.

New prop Jimmy Carson showed up well while in the lineeouts, Darren Best had a big advantage.

“Our forwards were much pacier than theirs and this victory has given us a psychological boost before we meet them in the AIL,” said Ballymena's Sam McGreer.

“It's early days yet but we have the basis for a good team. We will have a better idea at the end of next week as we play Quins on Wednesday and Dungannon on Saturday'.”

Belfast Harlequins, who came close to relegation from the AIL Division Two, have started the season with two excellent wins and two bonus points. They head the table with 10 points following their nine-try victory over Rainey ( 59-8) at Deramore Park.

Rainey led at one point but when Keith Pyper’s touched down after 30 minutes, the game swung in Quins’ favour and it was only a matter of how many tries they would score.

Richard Reaney showed his kicking skills with seven conversions while Chris McCarey has now scored six tries in the first two outings.

Instonians are in second place after another good win, this time against a Portadown (32-20) at Shaw's Bridge.

Inst built up a half-time advantage of 25-10 but the Ports came back with two tries from Craig Woods, bringing his point's tally after two games to 25.

Queen's made too many basic errors thus allowing Dungannon to win comfortably (18-3) at Stevenson Park.

The students held out until the half-hour mark when they conceded tries from Andrew Holmes before and after half-time.

A try from Spence and a penalty from McGuckin, put the game beyond Queen’s whose Ian Porter landed a consolation penalty for Queen’s from 40 metres.

Queen's may be pointless and are still without a settled side so early in the season. But they deserve credit for faring reasonably well against both Quins and Dungannon who are expected to be in contention for honours.

In the remaining game, Ards, after leading 13-0 at the interval, went on to record a somewhat flattering (20-7) win at Banbridge. The home team, conceded a second-half interception try before being rewarded with a late Neville Farr score.

Ballynahinch 20 (J.Cullen 2 tries, R.Banbry 2 cons, 2 pens). Ballymena 32 (pen try, S.McKinney, C.Brigi, S.Castle a try each, D.O'Hara 3 cons, 2 pens).

Belfast Harlequins 59 (C.McCarey 3 tries, F.Olayisade 2 tries, K.Pyper, D.Creighton, C.Atkinson, W.Stewart a try each, R.Reaney 7 cons). Rainey 8 (R.Paul a try, D.McKernan, a pen).

Instonians 33 (D.Bradford 2 tries, N.Simpson, R.Fegan a try each, G.Clotworthy 2 cons, 3 pens). Portadown 25 (C.Woods 2 tries, con, pen, S.Gaye, P.Spence a try each).

Dungannon 18 (A.Holmes 2 tries, D.Spence try, J.McGuckin pen). Queen's 3 (I.Porter pen).

Banbridge 7 (N.Farr try, R.Thompson con) Ards 20 (S.Paul, J.Dawson a try each, M.Banford 2 cons, 2 pens).

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