Jackson secures bonus-point win for Ballyclare

Ballyclare's, James Jackson scored their first try against visitors, Randalstown at the Cloughan. INNT 41-004-FP
Ballyclare's, James Jackson scored their first try against visitors, Randalstown at the Cloughan. INNT 41-004-FP

Ballyclare Rugby Club’s senior side picked up a valuable Qualifying League 2 bonus point when they thrashed Randalstown 41-7 on Saturday.

This Section 2 fixture was played at The Cloughan and the visitors were soon under the cosh after putting on a fine show in the opening quarter.

James Jackson was first on the scorecard collecting a pass from scrum-half Colin Morrow before crossing the line. Gareth Byers converted.

After wins against Carrick and Larne, Randalstown were expected to provide stern opposition, and they showed their quality when one of their centres burst through to level the scores.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors as the hosts stormed in with six more tries.

Centre Gary Clotworthy regained the lead following a fine break by fly-half Niall Lawther, and then flanker Willie Logan set up wing-forward Gary Weatherup for a solo score that Byers goaled to make it 19-7.

By this stage Ballyclare were well on top and Byers landed a deserved converted score to give his side a commanding 24-7 lead at the break.

With the wind at their backs Mo Finlay’s lads continued to dominate in the second period.

Clotworthy notched his second score of the afternoon when he finished off a penetrating Lawther run. Jackson doubled his tally and clinched the bonus point when after having been put in by Weatherup.

Hooker Andrew Wylie almost got his name on the scorecard but he dropped Jackson’s pass with the line beckoning, but Weatherup did better and completed the rout after Robert Boyd surged in to the 22.

Ballyclare: G Byers; C McIntyre, G Clotworthy, J Jackson, JJ Baird; N Lawther, C Morrow; M Finlay (C), A Wylie, A Boyd, R Boyd, G McKinstry, W Logan, G Weatherup, M Rainey.

The match was sponsored by Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The 4th XV was the only other team in action and they too recorded a massive victory in Coleraine where they defeated UUC II 50-17.

This weekend’s fixtures: 2nd XV v CIYMS II, home; 4th XV v Portadown IV, home.