Ballyclare Rugby Club’s 1st XV came away with a 40-19 win over Coleraine in their first run-out of a new season at the Cloughan on Saturday.
Coach Bob Young brought in a number of players who were regulars on last season’s 2nd XV and they acquitted themselves well.
There were notable contributions from Willie Logan - a strong, driving force both in defence and attack, while Gary Weatherup made at least two try-saving tackles.
Chris Coburn was outstanding in the loose with plenty of support from Graeme McKinstry. Behind the scrum, fly-half Nial Lawther showed good control and made a number of telling breaks - one of which brought him one of the tries of the game.
The two centres - Chris Gillan and Nial Laughlin - combined well in attack and defence. Also in the backs Gareth Byers made many attacking runs from deep and Peter Ferguson, Mark Weatherup and Simon Reid showed real pace in the wide positions.
We’ll have a full match report from the game in this week’s Times, as well as an overview of how the club’s second-team players got on at the Ophir Sevens tournament.