Seconds earn another fine win

Banbridge U17's v Ulster U17's at last week's pitch opening. Edward Byrne Photography INBL1434-261EB
Banbridge U17's v Ulster U17's at last week's pitch opening. Edward Byrne Photography INBL1434-261EB

Bann Seconds followed up on their 75-0 mid-week win over Newry by scoring four tries without reply against their Ards counterparts.

But their win could, and probably should, have been by a much greater margin given their domination of much of the game. Coach Gareth Bronte was disappointed by his team’s work at the ruck, where too often Ards managed to turn over ball. “We were much too slow to get in support of the ball-carrier,” he said after the game. “Ok, we won and I’m happy with that, but this team is capable of playing so much better. And we’ll have to if we’re to make an impression in this league.”

Raymond Reid gets his hands on the Six Nations Trophy � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1434-263EB

Raymond Reid gets his hands on the Six Nations Trophy � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1434-263EB

Bann opened the scoring after just five minutes through Andrew Kirkwood. It came from a simple blindside move, with No 8 Alan Conn picking up from a set scrum and feeding scrum-half Josh Coyle. He in turn linked with Clark McAllister and the full-back’s pass put Kirkwood in at the corner. McAllister did well to add the conversion.

The second score, on the half hour, owed everything to the sheer pace of Keir Patterson.

The left winger took a pass on the halfway line, rounded his opposite number and scorched clear of the cover defence for an excellent try, which McAllister again bettered.

It took a fine cover tackle from Kirkwood to deny Ards a try after an intercept early in the second half.

Bann resumed on the offensive but despite their clear territorial edge they failed to add to their tally until eight minutes from the end.

McAllister collected an Ards clearance kick well inside his own half and made 45 metres down the left flank before feeding Paul Ross on the “22”. The skipper then turned on the gas to outstrip the cover and touch down in the corner.

And it was hooker Ross who grabbed the last score as he collected Macauley Little’s neat cross-field chip to replicate his earlier touchdown.

Conn was the pick of the Bann forwards, in the threequarters McAllister and Kirkwood were always threatening and Neville Farr made an impressive comeback in the centre after a serious leg injury had kept him out of the game for over two years.