McPhillips stars as Ballynahinch look up
Ballymena 0 Ballynahinch 27
Ballynahinch proved much too strong for Ballymena in a brutal Division 1B clash in the rain and mud at Eaton Park last night.
The bonus-point 27-0 victory brings them up to second place in the table, however Banbridge could move level should they clinch a bonus-point triumph of their own against Old Belvedere this afternoon.
Aaron Hall put the visitors ahead after only five minutes with a fine individual effort. He took a good line and crossed the whitewash, with Johnny McPhillips adding the conversion.
Although the visitors had the better of the play, Ballymena defended well and the only other score in the first period came when a visiting maul resulted in Jonny Simpson coming up with the ball.
A McPhillips penalty after the interval made it 15-0 and then, following a number of phases, No.8 Conan Boomer crashed over for Hinch's second try.
McPhillips continued his fine form with the boot and added the difficult conversion to put his side into a 22-0 lead.
Hinch ace Zac McCall had been yellow-carded at the end of the first half and he infringed again towards the close of the game, so the visitors were permanently down to 14 players.
Nevertheless, they were still hungry for the bonus point and upped their attacks against Ballymena, who never threatened the visitors' line all evening.
Hinch's reward came when the ball was taken to the short side for Aaron Cairns to link with full-back Conor Kelly, who allowed winger David Busby to dash in to claim the five points.