BANN FOURTHS 43 CLOGHER VALLEY THIRDS 19
A youthful Bann Fourths side opened their league campaign with a comfortable home win over an experienced Clogher Valley outfit.
It was Chris Beacom who first broke the deadlock. After some barnstorming runs from Nathan Martin, Mark Magowan and the returning Jonny McIntosh, good hands from the Bann backline sent the Bann hooker crashing over the try line, Philip Morrison pushing the conversion only slightly right. Over eagerness at the breakdown showed in the penalty count for the home side and this cost the Banbridge men. Clogher were able to gather territory and send their big men at the line giving them the lead at the interval, despite a try from home full-back Jordan Mullan, converted by Morrison.
The half time whistle gave the Bann men a chance to regroup and establish what areas they needed to work on, not least of all indiscipline at the breakdown. Bann punched at the visitors’ line but a dropped ball saw the Valley winger collect and sprint the 60 metres under the posts for a converted try.
This proved to be a wake-up call as Bann came back all guns blazing with the strong running Jordan Mount crossing the Clogher line for his first try. With Dave Neill and Martin bossing the lineout as always, the backline running moves with slick hands led to a scrum 30 metres out. This provided the space for captain Sam Boyd to break from the No 8 berth and fend off a defender to charge over. Boyd followed this up with his second try a few minutes later, after a quick tap five metres out saw quick thinking scrum-half Chris Berry feeding his skipper to crash over the line.
With the game well and truly won at this stage, inside centre Mount rounded off an excellent display with his second try. The ever hard-running Ross Davis added the last try of the match with Mullan converting his third of the afternoon.
It was a good start to the season with the scoreline showing what the team is capable of against seasoned opposition. Younger talent in the squad in the form of Stuart Totten, Ryan Armstrong and Joshua Graham gave their all in the victory, but the man of the match accolade went to the tireless Mark Magowan, his work around the park and hard running lines being a constant asset to the Banbridge men.
The Fourths next game will be in two weeks’ time when they welcome Omagh Fourths to Rifle Park.