U14s Ballymoney v Letterkenny - 12 : 26
By Peter Orsi
Letterkenny U14’s show grit to win
On a wintery Antrim morning Letterkenny U14’s grit and determination overcame a gallant Ballymoney team in an entertaining match.
Letterkenny went ahead after just five minutes having won a penalty at a scrum. A quick tap-and-go led to David Ilie bursting through for the first try [0-5]. Fifteen minutes in Letterkenny were penalised for not being back 10 metres and this time a quick tap and go by Ballymoney followed by fast movement of the ball in hand saw them run in an excellent try out wide which was duly converted [7-5]. Letterkenny resisted a series of Ballymoney phases on their own goal line but then struck on the stroke of half-time with a smart backs move seeing debutant Ronan Keeney run in a try which was converted [7-12].
Letterkenny kicked long from the restart and an unfortunate knock-on led to a scrum within the Ballymoney 22. David Ilie peeled off from the back of the scrum to run in Letterkenny’s third try. Cian O’Hagan had brought his kicking boots to Antrim and again stroked a great conversion from out wide [7-19]. Within a few minutes however Ballymoney struck back. They worked the ball up the middle sucking in Letterkenny forwards and then moved the ball fast to their speedster winger to run in a try but a difficult conversion was missed [12-19]. Ballymoney then laid siege to the Letterkenny line over a series of phases but the Letterkenny lads dug in together and in the end held up a rampaging Ballymoney forward carrying the ball over the try line. From the restart Letterkenny swiftly pushed Ballymoney right back into their own 22 and following a series of warnings from the referee a yellow card was given. Letterkenny took advantage of the extra man and thought they were in for a try however the referee saw an earlier infringement and disallowed the score. However not long after Finn Duffy barged through for Letterkenny’s last try which once again was slotted over from far out wide by Cian. [12-26]. An excellent Letterkenny team performance and credit also to the Ballymoney team for an entertaining contest.