Twenty four points up in as many minutes, Ballynahinch looked to be cantering their way to a five-point win in last Wednesday’s Ulster Senior League game at Rifle Park.
But as Banbridge fought back, dominating much of the play for the remainder of the game, the visitors had to wait until the last play of the game to add to their tally with the bonus-point fourth try.
Despite the final winning margin, the game will have left the ‘Hinch coaching team with more concerns than their Bann counterparts.
The home eight were in total command at scrum time as evidenced by three penalties won at the set piece.
And that malaise in the ‘Hinch forwards seemed to spread throughout the team as Bann began to eat into what had seemed an unassailable lead.
Ultimately however, the damage done in that opening period when poor defensive work let ‘Hinch in for three tries courtesy of centre William Richards, lock Michael Graham and new Kiwi recruit out-half Richie Lobb, to which the latter added the conversions as well as a penalty, left Bann with too much catching up to do.
Three penalties from the boot of Shandon Scott and an unconverted try from full-back Gregg Taylor had reduced the leeway to 14-24 with 25 minutes still to play. But Scott was wide with another penalty shot from 35 metres range and Bann blew a clear chance to pick up a second try with just 10 minutes remaining.
In the dying minutes ‘Hinch won a free just outside their own ‘22’ and exhorted by their coaching team to chase the important fourth try, they initiated a move that ended with winger Aaron Ferris touching down, with Lobb’s conversion the last act of the game.
• Please note that training for the Under 15’s continues on Wednesday nights from 7pm sharp to 8.30pm at Banbridge Rugby club.
All 3rd and 4th year boys are welcome to attend.