Thirds in late comeback but it’s too little, too late

Banbridge Thirds 17

Ballyclare Seconds 24

A poor first half defensive performance left Bann Thirds with too much to do after the break in this Junior League Section One game.

By the interval the visitors were 3-19 ahead as they took advantage of a serious lack of organisation in Bann’s defence, together with a failure to make the first-up tackle tell.

Out-half Robin Thompson contributed his side’s only points in that period off the tee.

Bann’s frailties were underlined just four minutes into the second half when Ballyclare found it all too easy to create an overlap on the right flank and put their winger in for the team’s fourth try.

The game looked all over as a contest with the visitors 21 points ahead, but to their credit Bann mounted a spirited comeback on the back of a more aggressive forward effort that yielded better than parity in terms of ball supply.

When prop Barney McKevitt powered through a number of attempted tackles to set up a ruck deep in the visitors’ “22” Thompson was the beneficiary as he glided through from close range for a try to which he added the conversion.

Bann were now calling the shots and the pressure told as Macauley Little charged down an attempted clearance kick and won the race to the touchdown for a second Bann try.

Thompson’s conversion left Bann a converted score short of the opposition tally but time ran out before they had the chance to close the gap.

Bann Thirds remain rooted to the bottom of the Section One table, but their second half display against a team in the top half, coming on the back of their Crawford Cup win over Rainey, will be an encouragement for the side as they move into the second half of the season.