Ballymena Academy ran out comfortable 36-10 winners over Rainey Endowed on Saturday.
The Magherafelt school had returned from an enjoyable training camp in Portugal to lock horns with an in-form Ballymena Academy team who, themselves, will make the trip to the same training camp next week.
The home team started well and immediately put pressure on the Rainey line with several strong surges.
Jonathan McKeown broke through a tackle for the first try which was converted by Andrew Magrath.
Ten minutes later, Josh McIlroy finished in the corner but Magrath’s touchline conversion hit the post.
Rainey Endowed capitalised on Ballymena Academy ill-discipline with a penalty to reduce the deficit to 12–3 and were on the attack again when McKeown showed his strength to generate a turn-over.
Ballymena moved the ball wide and some excellent work from Angus Kernohan allowed Tom Alexander to race home from the halfway line.
Magrath’s conversion increased the lead 19 – 3 and Ballymena stretched further ahead just before the half-time whistle when Dean Reynolds finished off some good back play.
Ballymena Academy made a number of changes at half-time and Rainey started the second half with a notable increase in tempo.
A sustained period of pressure on the Ballymena line resulted in the Rainey pack powering over between the posts and the successful conversion to the score to 24–10.
Ballymena added two more scores in the second half, but were guilty of conceding far too many penalties.
Jack Archer’s clever kick was gathered and touched down by Andrew Magrath and, moments before the final whistle, Magrath converted from the touchline following a second try of the morning from Josh McIlroy.
It completed a comprehensive victory for the galgorm Road boys and will send them off to their warm weather training camp in good spirits.
Ballymena Academy: Reynolds, Small, McIlroy, Kernohan, Alexander, Magrath, Stronge; Forsythe, Gaston, Bill, McNabney, Rea, Allison, McKeown, Thompson. Rep. Moody, Savoury, Holmes, Archer, Agnew