Ballyclare High U- 13Bs- 12
By William Annett
On near perfect playing conditions the Down High U-13s made the trip up to Ballyclare knowing it would be a difficult match.
The home side kicked off deep into Down’s twenty two, and Down managed to control possession for a number of phases. As they main their way into Ballyclare territory, a training ground backs move saw the ball move to winger Marcus Graham to open the scoring in the corner. Unfortunately Paddy Browne missed the conversion. Almost from the restart, Browne saw space and a very good cross-field kick and a lucky bounce allowed Marcus to go over for his second of the day. Browne duly added the extras. The away side now knew what they had to do, which was to spread the ball to the wingers and after a few phases of putting the ball through the hands William Annett got the ball and ran to score a converted try near the posts. Down’s dominance continued and Angus Ferris made a great break down the wing but was extremely unfortunate to get put into touch at the corner. Ballyclare were starting to get frustrated and very good scrums by the Down High pack and good steals by Matthew Porter gave the backs all the ball they needed. The last play of the half saw skipper Paddy Browne dummy his opposite number and out pace the home side full back to score a try under the posts. His conversion made it 26-0 at half time.
A very strong half time talk for the home team definitely spurred them on. Instant pressure after the restart from Ballyclare and very impressive forward drive led them up to Down High’s twenty two. Determined play by the home forwards saw them rewarded with a score in the corner. Ballyclare took heart from this and before the end of the match managed a further consolation score.
For Down High this game was won in the first half and they will be looking to continue their winning streak next match.
Man of the match: William Annett