Bann U-18s 23 Carrick U-19s 15
Banbridge U18s had a number of newly-signed players available when they entertained Carrick in this Ulster Premier League game.
The squad now have strength in depth throughout the forward positions and some real competition for places.
The quality was clear from the start with Andrew Jackson, RJ Greenlee and Ross Haughey taking it to Carrick and breaking the gain line time after time.
Bann had the majority of the possession and were working well in their pack.
They were able to supply good go-forward ball to the backs where Robin Sinton started his first game at centre and was looking dangerous with his power and pace.
However, it was the visiting side who opened the scoring. Bann gave up possession in their own ‘22’ and Carrick moved it wide quickly where their winger outpaced the Bann cover to score under the posts.
Their kicker slotted over the conversion and later kicked a penalty to put his side 10 – 0 up.
Bann improved their ability to keep possession and with Robin Sinton and Cameron Cromie causing all sorts of problems to the Carrick backline Bann were camped in the Carrick half.
A penalty provided Alex Walker with the chance to put a touch kick to within five metres of the Carrick line.
From the lineout Bann were able to catch and drive the maul over the line where Robin Hewitt touched down for Bann’s opening try.
Although the conversion was missed Cameron Cromie added a penalty shortly after to leave the half-time score 10 – 8 to the visiting team.
Bann were now playing their best rugby of the season so far and all forwards were imposing themselves on the opposition.
Some strong running by Alex Megaw and Matty Taylor put Bann in a great attacking position and when the ball was moved wide to Curtis Jackson he was able to power over in the corner.
Bann continued to keep the ball and made things very difficult for Carrick to mount any sort of attack.
The pressure told when Josh Cromie took a quick tap-penalty and outpaced any would-be defender to score under the posts.
The final Bann try was scored by new centre Sinton who outpaced his opposition number then side-stepped the covering defence to score.
Carrick added a late try of their own but Bann got the win they richly deserved after producing some top quality possession-rugby.