Ravenhill beckons as Ballyclare see off Coleraine in Cup semi-final

Ballyclare's Adam Wardrop mounts an attack in Saturday's Junior Cup win over Coleraine. Photo: David Irvine (Gleno photo)
Ballyclare's Adam Wardrop mounts an attack in Saturday's Junior Cup win over Coleraine. Photo: David Irvine (Gleno photo)
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Ballyclare will be making a club record-breaking second appearance at Ravenhill in the same calendar year following 22-3 Junior Cup semi-final win over Coleraine.

Ballynahinch II will provide the opposition under the floodlights at the Ulster Branch headquarters on Tuesday, December 17.

Ballyclare, from Qualifying League Section 2, cruised into the final when they comprehensively defeated their Section 1 opponents, Coleraine on their own patch.

The White Hare lads have reeled off seven straight league wins to establish themselves as runaway Qualifying2 leaders, and they asserted their authority straight away, boosted by the return of skipper Robert Boyd.

Paul Morrow and Nathan Loughlin came in to occupy the two central positions in the back division, while Chris Coburn deputised at number eight for the injured Willie Logan.

And it was Coburn who got the ball rolling when he crashed through the cover from a line-out for an unconverted score.

Full-back Adam Wardrop kicked intelligently out of hand, and one of his efforts gained a foothold in the home 22, where Johnny Reid was held up just short of the line.

Former Ballyclare winger, Nigel Hall, made valiant efforts to get his side on to the scorecard, but the back row trio - Gary Weatherup, Jordan McKinstry and Coburn - defended courageously.

Eventually Jordan McKinstry put Paul Morrow in at the corner for a score that Colin Morrow converted.

Approaching the interval Coburn and Wardrop threatened to increase the lead, before Morrow slotted over a penalty to give his side a healthy 15-0 lead at the break.

Coleraine eventually opened their account with a penalty, and only a last-ditch tackle by the impressive Coburn prevented them from further reducing the deficit.

Boyd’s lads regained control and Wardrop scored the best try of the afternoon when he left four men clutching at thin air in a mazy run, before landing a brilliant solo score that Morrow goaled.

Ballyclare: A Wardrop; J Reid, N Loughlin, P Morrow, J Greer; N Lawther, C Morrow; A Boyd, A Wylie, D Lawther, R Boyd (C), G McKinstry, G Weatherup, J McKinstry, C Coburn. Subs: JJ Baird, M Rainey, M Kirk, M Finlay, A Jones.

On Saturday the spotlight will be on the 4th XV who host a Junior League clash with Lisburn III at The Cloughan.