This mid-week Junior League game produced thrills aplenty with Bann Thirds eventually emerging as 33-26 winners over Larne Seconds despite being reduced to 14 men with just 10 minutes played.
The home side recovered quickly from the loss of injured centre Matthew Kerr, opening the scoring with a Jeff Dodds penalty after a rolling maul had forced Larne back into their “22”. The same tactic reaped further dividends six minutes later, with hooker Geoff Little touching down after the visiting forwards had been mauled back to the try line.
Chris Berry made the running for the third try which Glen Rowan finished brilliantly in the corner, with Dodds adding the testing conversion.
Poor defensive work allowed Larne back into the game before the break as they picked up two tries and a conversion for a 15-12 interval scoreline. The Co Antrim side added a third try after the break to take a 15-19 lead but that was short-lived as the home side hit back with a flurry of touchdowns.
Several players laid claim to the final touch when the Bann pack again out-mauled the opposition for the third try. Then Stephen Cowan won the race to a chip-and-chase before Rob Moorhead cut through three defenders for Bann’s fifth try.
A second penalty from Dodds took his side 33-19 clear before Larne grabbed a late consolation score.