BANN U17s played Virginia on Saturday in the first round of the cup and ran out 45-0 winners in their best team performance of the season so far.
The result was tainted by an injury to captain Adam Kelly, who dislocated his elbow at the start of the second half. Kelly has been inspirational in his leadership this season and will be sorely missed in this Saturday’s league play off final.
Bann’s first try came from Macauley Little who dummied the Virginia defence and crossed the line from 15 metres out. Little also added the conversion.
The U17’s continued to play 15-man rugby and were again rewarded when the ball moved swiftly across the back line, putting Kenny Wiltshire in the clear for his second try in two weeks.
Bann, playing against a stiff breeze, still managed to stay in the Virginia half of the pitch, due to hard work from the pack and this was rewarded when an impressive Mathew Beck broke from a driving maul to score a deserved try.
The second half gave Bann the wind advantage but the unfortunate loss of Kelly held up the game for 30 minutes. When play resumed it was more of the same with Little racing over from 10 metres for his second try, he again added the conversion.
The U17’s dominated possession for the remainder of the half and were rewarded with a try from Neil Cochrane, who burst through several tackles and scored from 22 metres. This was followed by the score of the match from Josh Coyle, which showed his strength in breaking tackles and his ability to sidestep as he ran in from 40 metres.
The final score came from Jonny Adams and was a just reward for a hard running centre, who is normally the provider for others. He crashed through tackles to run over from 15 metres. Little added all three conversions to complete a fine display of place kicking.
This was a complete performance by Bann and showed there true potential against a much fancied, Virginia team. The man of match was Josh Coyle, who bossed the game from the base of the scrum with an excellent display of passing and running.
The final of the league play offs is on Saturday March 10 at 12 midday in Lisburn against Portadown. All support is welcome, so please come and cheer on a deserving team.
Finally, the team and coaches would like to pass on their best wishes to Adam Kelly and hope he has a speedy recovery.