Last-gasp Junior Cup victory for Second XV

Ballymena Rugby Club.
Ballymena Rugby Club.

Ballymena Second XV secured a thrilling 19-17 win over Coleraine in the Junior Cup on Saturday.

Two years ago in the same competition Coleraine ousted Ballymena with the last kick of the game, a penalty by David Andrews to win by 9 points to 6.

In a tense game at Lodge Road on Saturday Ballymena 2nd XV turned the tables on their local rivals, with Rory Drysdale converting his own try, scored in the third minute of injury time, to overturn Coleraine’s five point lead and put his team two point clear, as the referee’s whistle blew to signal the end of the game.

Ballymena started strongly, clearly showing their intention to spread the ball wide, and in the third minute created space on the right for Drysdale to put right wing Jonny McMullan in for the first try of the game.

In the tenth minute came a repeat performance on the left wing, to let winger Rosborough in for an excellent try, to put Ballymena 12-0 ahead.

Coleraine’s efforts rewarded with a try, which Andrews converted, to leave the half time score 12-7 in Ballymena’s favour.

In the second half, the Coleraine pack began to drive Ballymena back time and time again, and when they were awarded a penalty for a Ballymena indiscretion Andrews converted to make the score 12-10.

With ten minutes to go, and the Ballymena pack reduced to seven men, Coleraine were awarded a scrum five metres out and drove the Ballymena pack across the line for a pushover try, which Andrews again converted, making the score 17-12 with time running out. In the third minute of injury time, another infringement by Coleraine gave Ballymena penalty seven metres out in front of the posts.

Drysdale took a quick tap and ran in unopposed between the posts before converting his own try with the last kick of the game tod give Ballymena what at one stage looked a very unlikely cup win.