Bann Fourths 60
Ophir Seconds 3
With their club suffering from an unprecedented run of injuries Ophir Seconds travelled to Rifle Park with 14 men to fulfil this Junior League fixture.
And the understrength side proved no match for a Bann Fourths outfit which rebounded from its last-minute defeat the previous Saturday to rack up ten tries before the referee called time.
Last season’s Banbridge Academy No 8 Rory Carson made his club debut and the UUJ student had a field day against the Belfast opposition, following up his 2nd minute try with a hat-trick in the second half.
Another graduate of the local Academy, Josh Edwards, had made his first start in adult rugby the previous week, featuring on the wing for the Fourths.
But he revelled in his more familiar position alongside Carson in the back row, running in two second half tries.
Russell Anderson had his first game of the season and the full-back rounded off a fine threequarter move initiated from the re-start following Carson’s opener.
With centre Cameron Cromie converting both tries Bann were 14-0 up after just five minutes.
Cromie’s midfield partner Jerry Ramsey raced in for an unconverted try ten minutes later but Ophir hit back to enjoy a prolonged spell of pressure on the home line.
They eventually got their reward via a converted penalty but it was to prove their only contribution to the scoreline.
Normal service was resumed when winger Kenny Wiltshire raced down the right flank to finish off after Alan Thompson had counter-attacked from the other wing.
Then Cromie burst through a fragile Ophir midfield defence to score under the posts, with the straightforward conversion taking the interval score to 31-3.
With Cromie retiring from the action at half-time Stephen Henning converted after Carson went in from a 5-metre scrum two minutes after the break.
Ryan Ringland put Edwards in for the first of his scores but the flanker had more work to do for his second as he collected a pass on halfway and just made the try-line ahead of the cover defence.
Two more Carson tries in the final seven minutes of a shortened second half, with one converted by Anderson, concluded the scoring to give the Fourths two wins from four games.