Banbridge travelled to Shaw’s Bridge last Friday and recorded a win over Instonians on an 8-2 try margin.
Bann coach Daniel Soper was pleased with the way his squad performed against the Belfast side.
“There was certainly some rustiness but that’s only to be expected at this stage of the season,” commented the Kiwi after the game.
“But we were increasingly dominant as the game progressed and the new faces slotted well into the side.”
Those new faces included four of last season’s successful U19 side. Half-backs Aaron Kennedy and Macauley Little certainly looked the part with the latter producing slick distribution and effective kicking to keep his side on the front foot. Prop Lee Geddis and hooker Tim Savage didn’t look out of place when they came on for 30 minutes of the action.
Scrum-half Scott Nelson, who was an Ulster Junior regular over the past couple of seasons, impressed on his first senior outing.
But there’s no doubt the most noteworthy debut was made by flanker Nico Vorster.
The close-season signing from Boyne seemed full of running, put in a shed-load of tackles and picked up two tries for his efforts. Bann’s other scores came from Dale Carson, Adam Ervine, Kennedy, Ryan Patterson, Chris Allen and Andrew Kirkwood.
There’s certainly work to be done, especially on the set pieces, but coach Soper will have seen enough to reassure him of the potential in the squad to produce a successful season.
Ballynahinch on Saturday will no doubt provide a very different challenge but Soper will be keen to make a winning start on the new Rifle Park turf.