Ballymoney 0 - 36 Letterkenny
Ballymoney 0 - Letterkenny 36
1. Jayden Friel
2. Eoin Parkinson
The away team arrived today full of confidence after 4 wins on the trot to leave them top of the league, the atmosphere in the changing rooms before the game was very relaxed and the lads were brimming with confidence.
As they took to the field on a cold wet morning with the wind blowing from left to right they choose to play into the wind and receive the ball from the initiate kick off, where Orrin was first to get hands on the ball and made 5 meters before feeding the ball out to the wing where it went into touch, line out Ballymoney. Letterkenny knock on in the first line out of the day and give an early scrum to their rivals, who win their scrum but some big hits are put in by the letterkenny team and they force a knock on at the 10 meter line.
Ben feeds his back line and they quickly whip the ball out the line where Tiernan makes 10 meters with a surging run breaking several tackles, he pops the ball to Orrin who with the help of his vibrant pack maintain possession on the 22 and with quick hands the ball is fed out the line and into the eagar hands of Kaymin Shortt who crashes over the line in the corner for the first try of the day after 5 mins of play. 5 - nil to the visitors.
The kick off is a poor one and Letterkenny find themselves putting the ball into the scrum on the half way line, again the ball is fed out the line and Kaymin goes on another great run and makes 20 meters, Ben Hopkins this time decides to try a little box kick which is chased down by Orrin and with a kind bounce of the ball he finds himself under the posts for his first and Letterkenny's second of the day, and to the crowds amusement Orrin doesn't wait for the kicking tee and drop kicks the conversion. 12 - 0 after 7 mins.
From the KO Finn McGonagle gathers the ball and with a burst of speed soon finds himself in space and makes 20 meters of ground, and does well to hold onto the ball until his pack provide the support, again Letterkenny break quickly and this time Leon finds some space and makes those vital few meters and maintains possession. This time from a great maul Mathew Duffy peals to his right and with some dancing feet and twists and turns finds himself over the line to get try number 3 under the posts. The conversion comes back of the uprights 17 - 0 after 10 mins.
Again Letterkenny receive the ball and with some great interchanges and another surging run from center Leon, they find themselves deep in Ballymoneys half, the ball is spilled giving the scrum to Ballymoney who this time do well in the scrum and get the ball out wide where it looked for a moment that they had the overlap but a powerful tackle from Finn McGonagle soon puts and end to a possible chance.
Play continues with some great steals from Ben and Odhran giving Letterkenny the edge in the mauls and rucks, bringing them ever closer to the try line again.
In the last play of the first half Kaymin chases his own kick and slides in feet first knocking the ball over the try line and touching it down, but alas up pops the ref and deems Kaymin to have knocked on. Our assistant video ref Michael shows footage to the spectators at the half time break, that the try was in fact good but unfortunately the ref did not call his skills into play :) HT score 17 - 0.
Orrin gets the second half underway with a deep kick into the 22, and Letterkenny surge forward and again manage to wrangle the ball from the Ballymoney pack, they continue to maul well in the middle of the field, Jack Speer appears from the back of the maul and with great drive makes 5 meters and turns and feeds the on coming pack, Ben whips out the ball and Orrin opts to kick over the heads of the on coming defence and he chases down his own kick and scores his second of the day. This time Kaymin attempts the conversion which causes a stir amongst the supports as a solitary Ballymoney player decides to run from behind his own try line and lift the ball off the tee as Kaymin was still lining up to take the kick, manys a giggle was had on the side line. 3 mins into second half 22 - 0.
This time from the off Dan gathers the ball and puts his head down and makes 7 or 8 meters., the ball is again whipped out but the deteriorating conditions are forcing both teams to drop the ball and conceded ground. Ballymoney get a penalty inside their own half and charge at Letterkenny, when up steps Issac who flattens his man with a shuddering tackle.
The game now gets very scrappy with the wind picking up and the hail battering down and both teams are finding it hard to gain an advantage.
16 mins into the second half Letterkenny win another scrum and feed the ball out to Orrin who bursts through the line with only the full back to beat which he does impressively with a great side step to score under the posts. Conversion slotted by Orrin. 29 - 0
Again with 10 mins left Orrin powers his way through and over the line and again slots the kick 36 - 0, and that was all she wrote, Letterkenny make it 5 in a row.
Well done lads and coaches and of course the brave soles that stood on the line cheering on their lads.