BANN THIRDS 14 BANGOR SECONDS 15
Last year’s beaten finalists, Bann Thirds, were knocked out of the Crawford Cup in Saturday’s first round game by visitors Bangor Seconds.
Home Coach Andrew Craig was bitterly disappointed, not just by the result but by the mistakes that led to his side’s down fall. “We had so much possession, especially in the first half,” he said disconsolately, “but we just couldn’t make it tell on the scoreboard.”
“And we gifted them two soft scores, one either side of half-time, when our defence let us down badly.”
All Bann could muster from their first half domination, built on the back of a superb set scrum, was two penalties from the boot of out-half Robin Thompson.
That first half Bangor try and conversion gave the visitors a single point advantage going into the second half, to which they added an unconverted try soon after the break.
Bann hit back to pummel the Bangor defence, with replacement prop Scott Cromie eventually bashing his way over the try line. Thompson was unable to add the conversion but his third penalty gave his side a 14-12 lead going into the closing stages.
But Bangor had the last word, slotting over the penalty that took them into the second round of the competition.
Craig said that a poor defensive shift was the root cause of his side’s defeat. “We just missed too many first-up tackles,” he admitted.
But he praised the display of man-of-the-match Thompson. “Robin was very, very good. He was always having a go, taking the ball to the line and looking for the off-load.”
The Thirds will want to put this result, and display, behind them as they resume their league campaign on Saturday with a trip to the Maiden City to take on City of Derry Seconds, hoping for the win that would see them retain top spot in Divison Two of the Provincial League.