CARRICK THIRDS 12 BANN FOURTHS 22
Bann Fourths travelled to Carrick in the first round of the Forster Cup to play a side that they knew very little about and playing a league above them. The Bann men, coming off the back of two wins in the league, knew they had to maintain the momentum.
Big hits from the off from Scott Cromie and Christian Trimble let the Carrick men know Bann meant business. Although the vistors dominated possession in the early part of the game, an unfortunate error proved costly as Carrick scored beneath the posts to take lead.
But Bann didn’t slacken off and some fine running from Alan Mullen and his trademark perfectly timed pass saw Neal Cochrane take a well deserved try under the posts.
Josh Newell was showing great pace and skill and evading plenty of tackles, but an unfortunate injury saw hime ruled out of the rest of the game.
Bann’s second try came from a ruck set up by Trimble and capitalised on by PJ McNally. John Woods picked up from the base of the ruck and got the ball to Ryan Ringland . He had Stefan Patterson on his hip and the winger took the well-timed pass and dotted down.
A good series of plays from the re-start gave Carrick their second try of the game, leaving the Bann men with a tussle on their hands, but there was plenty more left in the tank!
Kris Campbell graced the field in the unfamiliar position of flanker and he showed his tackling power before a shoulder injury forced him to retire early.
With Andy Crory taking a blow to the nose it was an opportunity to bring on some fresh legs, and they didn’t take much time in getting stuck in. It was the young Scott Thompson who crossed the line for Bann’s third try, some great rucking by Andy Marshall and Jonny Mullan put Thompson in space and he used his raw strength to cross the try line.
Bann were now seven points clear and that was extended further when Martin’s trusty boot converted a penalty opportunity.
Bann struck again from the re-start. Josh Graham’s scything run made 30 metres and from the resultant ruck, Jonny Murray collected, raced through a gap and sprinted 20 metres to record his first try at senior level and seal the win.
Team Managers Colm Broderick and John Woods were especially pleased with the performance of debutant Martin but agreed that Scott Cromie was the man of the match, with his strong running and hard tackling reminiscent of older brother Stuart.