Down High 1st XV enjoyed a comprehensive win over Belfast Royal Academy on Saturday at Roughfort. Within minutes of kick off two eye catching breaks from John Hyndman and Aaron Chambers gave Down clear scoring opportunities but in both cases the visitors lacked precision in passing to convert these into actual points. Indeed following the initial Down dominated opening period, BRA started to kick smartly and pressured the Down line on a couple of occasions.
The first score of the game came through Down full back Joseph Bingham who received a pass from Luke Sandford deep in the Down half and showed some great pace and decision making to touch down under the posts. Bingham converted his own try.
A few moments later Down were again applying pressure in the BRA half when the home team conceded a penalty for being offside. Down opted for the kick at goal and Bingham put his side 10 points clear. The score remained at 10-0 until half time.
In the second half Down were much more clinical in attack. Patrick Preston was first to cross the line in the half after fantastic phase play, well managed by Ross Carlisle, broke down the BRA defence and gave Preston plenty of space to work in for a relatively straightforward linebreak.
Zac Ward was next on the score sheet and again his try came on the back of the collective phases Down had managed to string together, leading to a fragmented home defence. Bingham added the extras.
Now 22 points up the Down men lifted their foot off the pedal a little and indiscipline at a number of successive breakdowns saw them kicked back into their own 22. A further penalty saw the BRA number 8 barge his way over the line for an unconverted try off a penalty tap.
Down did respond well and Joseph Bingham crossed the line a few moments later for his second converted try of the afternoon, this time spotting a gap in the BRA defence and calling for a last minute pass on the inside from Carlisle who had also had men threatening out wide.
In the final 15 minutes Down added one extra score through flanker Elliot Evans who darted off the side of a ruck to touchdown after spotting a gap in the BRA fringe defence. Ironically it was a gap in the fringe defence of the men in green that saw the BRA have the final try of the day when the hosts scrum half made a clean break in the Down half for an easy touchdown and conversion.