Friends miss their big chance
Ballymena Acad 11 Friends 11
Friends have earned a home replay against Ballymena Academy on Saturday, but the Lisburn boys should already be looking forward to a Schools’ Cup semi-final.
Leading 11-3, they allowed Ballymena back into the game to pull level by the end.
Craig Lewsley and Calum Patterson traded first-half penalties, but three minutes into the second period Friends' retorted with an excellent try.
After pressure on the home line scrum-half Ben Semple gathered from a ruck, dummied and dived over before Lewsley had a penalty to make it 11-3.
Ballymena came back with another Patterson penalty, but with 10 minutes remaining, the Lisburn team had a player yellow carded for a ruck infringement.
The home team piled on the pressure and after a line out and rolling maul, managed to touch down to level.
Man of the match Semple controlled the game, kicked intelligently into the corners and put Ballymena under pressure.
Friends' coach Stephen Robinson is confident about Saturday's replay, saying: “Our boys played exceptionally well. We maintained a lot of pressure which helped us gain a formidable lead. Unfortunately we suffered from the yellow card and but for that we would probably have won. We have no injuries problems so things look good for the replay.”
Ballymena Academy: C.Simpson, M.McBride, C.Delpy, P.Storey, C.Morrison, C.Patterson, P.Banda, S.McNabney, K.Galloway, G.Hargy, M.Rea, D.Whann. T.Patton, J.Andrew, P.Wallace, J.McClelland, J.Fleming, M.Galbriath, J.Foster, M.McMurray, P.McKerr, M.Dick, G.Dennison.
Friends' School: K.McCorkell, A.Trimble, C.Ross, J.Robinson, R.McCaughey, P.Ferguson, J.Vance, D.McGuigan, B.Semple, R.McIvor, D.Eastwood, A.Vance, M.Cochrane, P.Pringle, C.Lewsley, S,Seeds, S.Harris, J.Murphy, J.Thompson, B.McMullan, P.Anderson, J.Dennison.