LAST Saturday Bann U15s travelled to Randalstown for a quarter final Ulster Cup encounter.
Randalstown, with the elements in their favour, started brightly with their forwards winning good second phase ball at the breakdowns. It was no surprise when their influential out-half released the backline and their winger scored in the corner.
The out-half added the extra points with a great kick from the side-line. From the re-start Bann failed to gather the ball and the Randalstown pack drove deep into Bann territory. An indiscretion by Bann resulted in a penalty which the home No 10 slotted over.
Bann quickly reduced the deficit when No 8 David McElroy scored from close range. Almost immediately the Randalstown out-half gathered the ball deep in his 22 metre area and weaved his way through some mediocre Bann tackling and scored under the posts. He added the conversion to leave the interval score 17-5 in his team’s favour.
During the second period Bann did lift their game but were still not firing on all cylinders. The Bann set plays improved and with some possession the backline managed to attack a vulnerable Randalstown defence. Two tries from Bann’s top scorer James Waugh and a conversion from Zach Chambers levelled the game and a draw looked on the cards.
However Bann out-half Cameron Cromie outwitted the Randalstown defence with a great show and run, releasing Waugh who offloaded short of the line to winger William Wilson to seal the victory with a fine score.
Bann played poorly in this match and were extremely slow to start, however Head Coach Richard Jennings noted some positives with the “ never give up” attitude and commitment of the Bann Team to compete to the final whistle.
Next Saturday Bann travel to Carrickfergus for the semi-final, with a place up for grabs at Youth Finals day at Ravenhill on April 30.