Second half display proves costly for the Bannsiders

Bernard Mullan touches down for Coleraine's fisrt try aganist Bangor on Saturday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.
Bernard Mullan touches down for Coleraine's fisrt try aganist Bangor on Saturday.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON.

COLERAINE’S impressive start to the season came to a halt against Bangor on Saturday as they saw a half time lead disappear in a disappointing second half.

The Bannsiders started off in sparkling form and created a strong lead in the first half but paid the price for two yellow card incidents which the visitors punished very effectively.

Coleraine had no scores in the second half, losing out 17-37.

Speaking after the game Coleraine coach Richard Beggs said: “We were disappointed with the result today, especially after a great start in the first half.

“We had two yellow cards and Bangor hit us hard, scoring more than 20 points in those 20 minutes.

“Overall they were a bigger side but we showed again that we can produce good performances, as we did in the first half. We need to do a bit of work on discipline and consistency but we know that we can be a match for any side in the league.”

In the game Bangor had the first opportunity to score with a penalty after nine minutes but the kick went wide of the posts.

Coleraine responded with a blistering attack. Conor Simpson punched through the defence, fed the ball to Bokkie Carstens who offloaded to a charging Bernard Mullan to score. Carstens picked up the extra two points with the conversion.

Carstens was also on target with a penalty from a difficult angle as Coleraine piled on the pressure.

With 22 minutes on the clock Archie Kettyle took a quick tap setting up another attack which saw captain Stephen Douglas sprint on the wing to score.

Carstens converted and just after the half hour mark he had another penalty opportunity on the 10 metre line which fell just short.

Coleraine’s problems started on 37 minutes when Danny Ramage was shown the yellow card. Bangor capitalised immediately as outside centre Aspley burst through the Coleraine lines to score an unconverted try.

The half ended with Coleraine 17-5 in front.

The onslaught continued from the restart. Aspley again shrugged off every attempt to tackle as he broke the defence and scored. The conversion went wide.

Again from the restart Bangor gained possession and this time it was flanker Henley who got the final pass and dived over the line to score. Aspley converted.

With 20 minutes of the half gone Bangor were on the attack again when fly half Thompson broke a series of tackles to score. The conversion was on target.

Coleraine were rocked again when scrum half Kettyle was yellow carded a few minutes later.

Bangor pressed home their advantage and after a strong forwards attack, second row Corbett scored, Thompson converting.

Coleraine did have their moments in the second half, the most promising a big push into the Bangor corner, Andrew Neely being held up at the line.

In the closing minutes Aspley was again instrumental in breaching the Coleraine defence, spinning the ball to winger Widdowson for an unconverted try.

Thompson also claimed three points from a long range penalty bringing the final score to Coleraine 17- 37 Bangor.

The disappointed Coleraine men now face a long journey to Portadown at the weekend and what is sure to be another difficult league encounter.

Also on Saturday, Coleraine Thirds got the better of Instonians Thirds, 25-22.

Coleraine First XV: A Gaston, S Evans, A Teacy, W Chestnutt, D Ramage, A Neely, B Mullan, S Douglas, A Kettyle, B Carstens, A Barr, C Simpson, S Patterson, T Van Wyk, B Cochrane. Subs: S Best, M Hunter