Ballyclare prove the stronger of promoted teams
The two promoted teams from Junior 6, Ballyclare IV and UUC II, have found the going much more difficult in Junior 5 but when they met on Saturday the Doagh Road team earned the points 29-10.
They are both in mid-table with four points while Carrickfergus III, who defeated Lisburn III 20-18, are still undefeated with eight.
Ballyclare started with a well executed try when centre Stephen Bailie took off down the middle and linked with David Tweed for the prop to dive over for his first try.
The students came back with a Scott Bashford penalty but the 'Clare pack with Clarke McCartney, Chris Gawn and the veteran Stephen Crawford much in evidence, started to gain the upper hand and, following a period of sustained pressure, flanker Gawn broke free to score.
The third try which followed shortly afterwards was an amazing one.
From the 10-metre line the forwards surged forward, rucking and mauling, before hooker Tony Turner gathered and twisted and turned through a few defenders before barging over to give the home team a 15-3 advantage.
John Wasson, playing at out-half instead of his usual full-back, instigated the next 'Clare try.
He chipped forward and speedy winger Michael Logan outpaced the defence to dive on the ball as it was crossing the line.
Wasson goaled and then, in the final quarter, scrum-half Andy Watson took a quick penalty and sped off making ground before McCartney, in full flight, gathered and crashed over for Wasson to again do the needful.
UUC kept fighting back under the impressive leadership of their captain and No 8 Phil McLean.
Their reward came very late when hooker Joe Buchanan scored for Bashford to goal.
Ned Laird, the Ballyclare CMO expects the team will do as well this season.
"Stephen Bailie is a very steady and experienced centre and a former Firsts player. He has had more than his share of injuries throughout the years and was impressive with penetrating runs while Wasson, a safe pair of hands, was involved in a couple of the tries. The home pack excelled and as McCartney was always in the middle of the action I feel he earned the Man of the Match award."