BANN SECONDS 17 ARDS 19
Bann Seconds took the field for this Conference League game missing a number of regulars who had been called up for First XV duty at Rainey. Despite those team changes, which meant playing with two flankers in the second row, they should have recorded a fourth successive win. However the problems posed by the beefier Ards scrum ultimately took their toll, with the home side forced to work off problematic first phase possession.
With out-half Ben Thompson forced off temporarily with a hand injury, Ards went ahead with a converted try.
But by the interval Bann had taken a 12-7 lead. Quick thinking by scrum-half Aaron Kennedy got his side on the move from a penalty. Charlie Jones, Andy Denver and Ben Carson then combined to put the patched up Thompson in possession. His accurate kick was collected by Jack Myles and the winger brushed off an attempted tackle to score in the corner.
From a free kick the ball was transferred through the hands of the threequarters before Scott Magowan’s strong carry set up an attacking ruck. The ball was popped to Robbie Mathers and the big prop took three defenders with him over the try line, with Kennedy adding the extras.
Ards hit back from the re-start, catching the home defence unawares form a ruck to cross for the try that levelled the scores. And with skipper Kennedy having to retire from the action, the visitors went in for a third try, adding the conversion for a seven point lead.
Replacement Jonny Little was now operating in the unfamiliar out-half position, but he showed his composure and class by going in for the unconverted try that narrowed the gap to the two point lead that the visitors clung onto to claim the four points.