Friday 19 October 2018 05:45:53 AM

Ballynahinch Enjoy Quarter Final Senior Cup Win
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Bangor vs Ballynahinch

First Trust Senior Cup quarter-final

Saturday 14 October 2017

Final Score:  Bangor 7   Ballynahinch 33

(James Kirk reporting from Upritchard Park).

Ballynahinch travelled to Bangor with a much-changed side as they continued the defence of their Senior Cup title against a Bangor side in good form and riding high in UBL Division 2C. With eight first team squad members called up to the Ulster A team coach Brian McLaughlin had the opportunity to give some of his fringe players some game time in the knowledge that they would be needed over the course of a long season. Conor Piper and Kelvin Hamilton came into the front row with Gareth Gill and Matt McKelvey also coming into the pack. A rejigged backline had Blane McIlroy and Ryan Wilson at nine and ten with James McBriar at fullback and Joe Bingham bringing sensational try scoring form on the wing.

In unseasonably warm conditions the game took on the pattern of the Belvedere game with numerous Hinch line breaks being squandered. Richard Reaney eventually broke the deadlock after an Ollie Loughead chargedown and Hinch went further ahead when a lineout malfunction from the home side led to hooker Conor Piper being driven over for a 14 point lead.

At this point the game the visitors looked very comfortable but Bangor hit back, upping their physicality to have their best spell of the match and were rewarded for their dominant scrum with a penalty try. Further opportunities for the home side were limited and Hinch restored their lead on 32 minutes from long range with the best move of the match. An excellent break from replacement Davy Nicholson and excellent interlinking between backs and forwards led to Conall Boomer dotting the ball down to leave the half time score 21-7 to the cup holders.

The next score would prove to be crucial as Ballynahinch effectively ended the game as a contest with a Tom Rock score straight from the kick off. A scrappy game then meandered towards a conclusion, punctuated only by Stuart Morrow’s fine try. Debatable refereeing and spoiling tactics from Bangor meant that some of the starters were unable to make their point to the coaching staff as well as they might have liked but nevertheless the holders await the semi-final draw and will be hopeful of making it three successive Senior Cup wins.

Final Score:  Bangor 7   Ballynahinch 33

Ballynahinch: Kelvin Hamilton, Conor Piper, Johnny Simpson, Matt McKelvey, John Donnan, Conall Boomer, Ollie Loughead, Gareth Gill, Blane McIlroy, Ryan Wilson, Joe Bingham, Stuart Morrow, Tom Rock, Richard Reaney, James McBriar.

Replacements:  Clayton Milligan, Ben Cullen, Connor Phillips, Callum McLaughlin, Davy Nicholson.