BANN SECONDS 24 RANDALSTOWN 19
In what has been a topsy-turvy season to date, Bann Seconds produced one of their better performances to beat Randalstown in the Conference League. The Co Antrim visitors had enjoyed a great win over neighbours Ballymena Seconds the previous weekend and travelled with confidence. But their sails were lowered by a young Bann side who made the most of their chances.
Jason Gribbon’s early penalty edged the home side ahead and Stephen Cowan was just beaten in the race to his grubber with the line beckoning. But Randalstown were obviously keen to bring their threequarters into play at every opportunity and they eventually created an overlap for Jamie Orr to cross for an unconverted try in the left hand corner.
Two Daniel McGlade penalties extended the visitors’ lead but crucially Bann struck back just before the break to reduce the deficit to a single point. Cowan was again the catalyst as his searing break took play deep inside the Randalstown “22”. When the recycled ball was moved right, Ben Cross timed his pass to give winger Adam Stirling just enough space to get in at the corner flag, with Gribbon’s superb conversion adding the extras.
Bann took the lead for the first time on the hour. After the forwards and particularly Ross Haughey had done the spadework, Shane Honeyford’s silky running took him through a gap and the young winger put lock David Little in for a try which Gribbon converted.
Bann failure to deal with the re-start put them under unnecessary pressure and it took some strong tackling, with hooker Andrew Jackson showing the way, to prevent the opposition fron adding to their tally.
McGlade did however slot over another penalty to bring the score to 17-14 before Cowan picked up a loose ball and chased his kick ahead to touch down near the posts, leaving Gribbon to add the extras.
Some slack defensive work allowed Randalstown to pick up a second try, but Phil Marshall’s unconverted touchdown came too late to allow his side to retrieve the situation.