BANN travelled to Fivemiletown in the league on Saturday hoping to continue their recent good run in the league and cup.
Bann started the brighter of the two teams and soon released their backline which broke through the defence and took play into the Clogher “22”. Despite spending the next 10 minutes there Bann were unable to put any points on the scoreboard and a penalty allowed the Clogher out-half to clear to near the half way line.
At the line-out young hooker Tim Savage was accurate with his first throw-in and this excellent performance continued throughout the day. Despite Clogher having the larger pack Bann were fully committed throughout the game and really competed up front. When both forwards and backs combined for Bann they really were stretching the Clogher defence.
A resulting ruck just inside the Clogher “22” allowed Jake Fisher to pass to Stephen Jackson who took on the Clogher backline. He side-stepped and out-paced them to score close to the posts. Fisher added the conversion.
Bann were now playing the best rugby of the game and with quick ball off the top of the line-out they moved the ball through all the backline players and when the space had been created Bann failed to score when really they should have. Within minutes of this miss Clogher received a penalty just 30 metres from the Bann try-line but they also failed to take this opportunity to add some points.
With just minutes to half time the Bann forwards set up a number of rucks before releasing Chris Nelmes, who powered through the opposing backs and off-loaded to Chris Craig. Craig out-paced his opposing number and fed his winger Colm Mulkerrin who scored in the corner. Bann went into half-time 12 – 0 ahead.
The second half saw the Clogher pack come more into the ascendency and Bann were now doing all the tackling with the back-row of Stuart Wickie and young Alan Thompson the pick of the players in this area of the game. However, the home pack were now winning more ball at the breakdown and they drove into the Bann “22” where they were awarded a penalty. The scrum-half took it quickly and was able to run clear to score. The conversion was successful.
Late in the second half Fisher added to the Bann score by kicking a penalty before going over the try line himself. Clogher grabbed a second try but it came too late to threaten Bann’s grip on the league points.