RUGBY: Ballyclare ease past Enniskillen in Junior Cup

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As expected, Ballyclare 1st XV eased past Section 2 opponents Enniskillen in the second round of the Junior Cup on Saturday.

The hosts were never behind at The Cloughan, but the Fermanagh men were always in contention before losing out 35-24.

Two Robert Smith penalties had the White Hare men 6-3 ahead, before winger JJ Baird, who had replaced the injured Jordan McKinstry, raced in at the corner for the opening unconverted score. But Skins kept in touch at 11-9 with a brace of penalties.

Fly-half Niall Lawther extended the lead when he slipped through a narrow gap for a score that was goaled by Smith. He then then added a penalty to stretch their advantage to 21-9, but Skins made it 21-14 at the break with their second touchdown.

Ballyclare continued to have the upperhand in the second half and went further ahead with an intercept try by Smith who also added the extras. But the opposition kept in touch when they crashed over from a maul close to the line to make it 28-19.

Another fine passing move by the backs resulted in Baird putting Adam Butler clear to run in his side’s fourth try that was converted by Smith, but Enniskillen had the final say with their third try near the end.

Match sponsor: Simpson Developments. Man of the Match (sponsored by David McWhirter): David Lawther.

Ballyclare: R Smith; A Butler, G Clotworthy, S Cusack, R Tweed; N Lawther, T McGookin; D Lawther, R Scott, M Finlay, M Stevenson, A Neill, J McKinstry, G Weatherup (C), W Logan. Replacements: JJ Baird, D Chambers.

The seniors have no game this weekend but the other fixtures are: 2nd XV v Rainey II, away; 3rd XI v Lurgan II, home; 4th XV v Carrick III, away.