Cup dismay for Firsts

Coleraine a re out of the Towns Cup after a bruising encounter away to Ballynahinch Seconds on Saturday.

It was a hard fought game, both sides attacking and defending with vigour, but in the end of the day the home side took better advantage of their opportunities and scored three tries to win 21-3.

In the first half Coleraine seemed to be in control but on 12 minutes the Ballynahinch outhalf broke through in mid-field, running clear to score under the posts.

The visitors again seemed in control of things but eight minutes later a turnover ball in midfield allowed the home flanker to break to the corner and score a converted try.

Coleraine had attacking opportunities in the half but had to be satisfied with a David Andrews penalty and another narrowly missed attempt. Half time score Ballynahinch 14 Coleraine 3

On the restart Ballynahinch went into attack and scored within two minutes, again converted. Things were made more difficult as Alex Gourley was yellow carded for an alleged offence in a tackle with 13 minutes of the half gone but neither side were to score again.

Coach Richard Beggs was disappointed with the result but was heartened with the attitude and effort of his players. He said after the game: “We really stuck at it, even when we were down to 14 men, and there was no let up at any stage.

“We dominated the scrum and had more possession but they were simply more clinical in their finish than we were. Our pack punched way above their weight and all of our players gave their all.

“Steven Dickey made a welcome return from injury and was very visible at No8. Stephen Douglas and Alex Gourley also stood out on the day.

“It was a hard match and we stood up better than the scoreline suggests.

“We have two important league matches over the next two weeks, away to UU Coleraine and Ballymoney, and we want to see the same level of commitment and effort in those. If we do that, then we can secure our position in the league.

Coleraine First XV: A Stirling, S Evans, A Teacy, W Chestnutt, Graeme Neely, S Douglas, J Cromie, S Dickey, S Caithness, D Andrews, C Browne, S Patterson, N Patterson, B Cochrane, Alex Gourley. Subs: C Archibald, H Tate.