Porter points Bann in direction of impressive win
Ballymena 17 Banbridge 23
Ian Porter was Banbridge's man of the match when he made both their tries and kicked 13 points in the All-Ireland League 1B success over Ballymena.
Bann have now taken the lead in 1B with 16 points from their four outings, but the undefeated Shannon are only three in arrears and will probably regain the top spot when they face Dolphin this afternoon.
The home team started strongly and took a 10-point advantage when the Ulster-released Brett Herron kicked a penalty after 16 minutes and then chipped over the visiting defence to touch down and add the points.
A mix-up with the restart allowed the visitors to reduced the arrears when a Porter reverse pass saw Chris Allen score and the scrum-half add the points.
In the third quarter Bann took control for a time and the reward was two more Porter penalties, but Ballymena retorted when forward pressure resulted in a penalty try to give them the lead.
Porter kicked a third penalty and another reverse pass found Bann hooker Peter Cromie who crashed over for Porter to again convert.
It was four points for Bann, but Ballymena after the loss of two successive games will be pleased with their effort which gave them a losing bonus point.
Meanwhile, should Ulster U18 Girls defeat Munster they will still need Connacht to overcome Leinster if they are to retain the Inter-Provincial title.
This scenario is unlikely as although Ulster are perfectly capable of defeating Munster, Connacht have proved to be much the weakest side having suffered against both Ulster (37-12) and Munster (25-5).
Currently with the final series of games at Barnhall this afternoon Munster have eight points, Leinster six and Ulster five.
Ulster make two changes with Ellie Ingram, who scored twice against Connacht and made the only try at Leinster, reverting to full-back where she will be able to attack from deep.
Amber Redmond comes in at scrum-half and Lucinda Kinghan to the left wing in a squad of 23 including nine Virginia players.
Today's fixtures, Div 1B: Ballynahinch v Bohs, Naas v UCC, Shannon v Dolphin.
Div 2A: Blackrock v Armagh, Corinthians v Nenagh, Greystones v Highfield, Malone v Galwegians, QUB v Cashel
Div 2B: Navan v Dungannon, Old Cres v Wanderers, Rainey v Barnhall, Skerries v Quins, Sunday's Well v City of Derry
Div 2C: Bangor v Thomond, Bective v Midleton, Sligo v Omagh, Tullamore v Bruff, Seapoint v Malahide