DROMORE SECONDS 7 BANN THIRDS 29
Bann made a great start from the off, with solid passing and great vision from Scott Jardine gaining yardage from an up-and-under. Dromore were forced into touch and from the lineout some great handling and a neat chip put Adam Stirling in for a score in the corner. Jordan Mullan’s conversion was confirmed by the touch judges but ruled out by the referee!
A great series of carries by Ross Semple and Ryan Patterson and the fast hands of Jardine, Geoff Thompson and Stephen Cowan led to a 40 metre gain and Patterson drove over from a 5-metre ruck to touch down under the posts. This time Mullan’s conversion attempt got the thumbs up from all three ‘officials’.
From the re-start Bann pushed Dromore back into their own half and into an off-side position, allowing Mullan to add three more points to his side’s tally.
Another surging run from the strong combination of Patterson and Robin Sinton, with a clever off-load to Joe Weir and on to Jardine put further pressure on the Dromore defence. But Bann appeared to take their foot off the gas and it was the home side’s turn to go on the offensive, however steady hands from Shane Honeyford and a great kick from Jardine cleared the danger.
Jordan capitalised on two further penalty opportunities before the break, the second coming after strong running from Stirling, Jardine and Thompson, to amass 21 unanswered points for his team at the interval.
Bann now had the wind and sun in their faces, but No 8 Sinton was underlining his potential, gaining yards every time he got his hands on the ball. An accidental poke in the eye forced his temporary retirement from the action, to be replaced by Stuart Marshall.
A penalty to Bann set up a 5-metre lineout and a great driving maul with Patterson at the rear, and the flanker, in only his second run-out after a 12-month lay-off through injury, claimed his second try. Jardine too was making an all-too rare appearance and he capped an authoritative display by slotting over a tidy drop goal.
That completed Bann’s scoring although surging runs from Stirling and Thompson almost created a Patterson hat-trick. But the ball was turned over and hacked ahead for Dromore to win the chase and claim a converted try from the final act of the game.
However this was just a fly in the ointment from an otherwise flawless game in which all the Bann squad played their socks off and according to Team Manager John Woods ‘everyone deserved to be man-of-the-match’. This was a superb effort and got the Thirds back to winning ways after a difficult start to the season.