BANN U-18 20 CARRICK U-18 15
Bann’s Under-18s gained revenge for an early season defeat at Carrick, beating the Co Antrim side in a keenly contested game to record their first league success of the season.
Tries from Joshua Allen and Robbie Mathers and a conversion from Philip Jackson enabled Bann to take a 12-0 lead into the break, with Jackson tacking on a penalty after the interval to extend the advantage.
But injuries to Eliot McCormick and Caolan Mynes were a blow, with the loss of the latter’s ball-carrying in particular detracting significantly from the team’s attacking efforts.
Carrick used the second half wind well to keep Bann pinned back in their own half and a penalty and two tries from lineout and driven mauls, albeit with some controversy surrounding the validity of the second effort, brought the visitors back on level terms.
Bann went on all-out attack in the five minutes remaining, drew in the Carrick pack with three controlled rucks and transferred the ball to the wing where Owen McGreevy broke through three tackles to score the match-winning try.
Bann coach Clive Gardiner was delighted that his squad’s efforts at training had got their reward on the pitch. “It was a fantastic win,” he said through a big grin. “There was great rugby from both teams. But the lads’ hard work in training and dogged determination today paid dividends.”