Coleraine First XV exited the Junior Cup on Saturday in what was a very closely run match against Ballymena 2s at Sandel Lodge.
Despite being 0-12 down in the first half Coleraine made a fantastic comeback to take the lead until the visitors snatched the win against a battling Coleraine side reduced to 13 men in the last minutes of the game.
It was a gutsy performance and a considerable improvement from the performance against Carrick the previous week. There were many strong individual performances and the entire side were more coherent in their approach to the Cup match.
The strength of Saturday’s performance gives more confidence as the Bannsiders move back to the league next week. However, there are already injury worries, including Hunter and Carstens, and the management and players will have to dig deep to maintain the improvement in performance this week.
Speaking after the game coach John Boyd was already looking to the next match. He said: “Today was an improvement and everyone, from 1 to 17, played really well, but we were perhaps a bit naive towards the end and let Ballymena take the win.
“We will take the positives from the game, and there were a lot of positives, and we will build on them. We are looking forward to a strong league performance across the entire season.”
Also on Saturday Coleraine 2s came close against Larne 2s in the league, losing out 18-19.This weekend Coleraine 1s entertain Academy and the 2s entertain Instonians 3s.
Coleraine: D McCorkell, S Evans, S Jefferson, W Chestnutt, D Ramage, , B Baillie, S Dickey, W Hunt, P Roxborough, B Carstens, N Irwin, DD Andrews, A Barr, J Carson, B Cochrane. Subs: C Breadon, J Dillon.