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Ballymoney delight at first Towns Cup win

Ballymoney 15 Clogher Valley 14

By Ciaran Donaghy

Ballymoney won their first ever Powerade Towns Cup in a thrilling final at Ravenhill against Clogher Valley yesterday.

Johnny Hanna’s late converted try was enough to win it for Jason Taggart’s side by the narrowest of margins.

Ballymoney had looked to have blown their chance as they only had a five-point lead at the break playing with the elements.

The Antrim side, playing with the aid of a strong breeze, finally made their dominance pay when player/coach Taggart rumbled over from close range following a sustained period of pressure on 25 minutes for the only score of the first half, but James McCleland was unable to add the convert.

In a rare Clogher attack Jonathan McClure broke through but his final pass was intercepted as Ballymoney were able to clear their lines.

Clogher levelled three minutes after the restart when No8 BJ Wilson sprinted 30 metres to score under the posts and Aaron Best’s conversion give the Fermanagh side the lead.

Andy Breen extended Clogher’s lead on 57 minutes when he profited from a mistake. Ballymoney centre Chris Beverland tried to move the ball wide but the Valley winger pounced on the loose ball and went from just outside his own 22 to score under the posts with Best converting.

Martin Irwin got Ballymoney back into the game with a 60th minute penalty.

Ballymoney got their second try on 69 minutes from flanker Johnny Hanna.

The Co Antrim side controlled the ball for a series of phases on the Clogher line before Hanna powered over with Irwin converting.

Clogher could have won it with the final throw of the dice when full back Ali Breen broke through but he went for the line himself inside of passing it to his right winger.

Ballymoney: J Cleland, T J McCaw, K Thompson, C Beverland, C Watson M Irwin, B Nicolas, A Ramage, D Watson, A Houston, A Graham, D Platt, J Hanna, J Taggart, D Campbell.

Replacements: P Irvine, R Clyde, A Surgenor, R Brace, S Nelson.

Clogher Valley: Ali Breen, Andy Breen, D Dunlop, PC Faulkner, J McClure, W Lyons, A Best, P Moore, A Duhig, G Andrews, D Sharkey I Dunn, H Richmond, G Giles, BJ Wilson.

Replacements: R Bell, J McFarland, L Weir, D Speer, R Fleming.

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