Ballyclare’s Byers is too hot to handle for Cooke

Action from Ballyclare RFC game against Cooke. INNT 41-157-GR
Action from Ballyclare RFC game against Cooke. INNT 41-157-GR
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Gareth Byers contributed 21 points in Ballyclare’s emphatic 26-10 win against Cooke.

The full-back weighed in with a try, four penalties and two conversions, with winger Michael Kirk also getting his name on the scorecard.

Saturday’s victory means the White Hare lads occupy third spot in the Qualifying 1 table.

Two home penalties at The Cloughan, and one from the visitors, was all that there was to report from an untidy first half but after Byers struck again early in the second session, fly-half Niall Lawther created space for Kirk to kick ahead and score in the corner. Byers added the extras to stretch the lead to 16-3.

Now dominant, Ballyclare got a second score when number eight Willie Logan drove from the base of a scrum before off-loading to Byers who sprinted in at the posts for a score a try he then goaled.

Byers added his fourth penalty, but Cooke had the final say with a breakaway converted try.

Man of the Match: Willie Logan.

Ballyclare: G Byers; J Greer, S Beasant, D Clarke, M Kirk; N Lawther, C Morrow; D Lawther, A Wylie, A Boyd, G McKinstry, R Boyd (C), G Weatherup, D Chambers, W Logan. Replacements: J Brownlee, J McKinstry.

Match sponsor: Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Ball sponsor: Stephen McCann.

The pre-match lunch was attended by the Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Thomas Hogg, and his deputy, Pat McCudden, along with Councillor Jim Bingham.

Club president Ken Wylie presented the mayor with a cheque for his nominated charity, the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Other results: 2nd XV beaten 61-0 by Ballynahinch III; 3rd XV lost 47-32 to City of Derry III.

The U14 and U16 teams recorded wins against Omagh.

Up next (Oct 11): Donaghadee v 1st XV; 3rd XV v B’mena IV; 4th XV v B’mena V.