RUGBY: Ballyclare edged out by powerful Clogher side

Lineout action from Ballyclare v Clogher Valley. INLT 42-911-CON
Lineout action from Ballyclare v Clogher Valley. INLT 42-911-CON

Fans were treated to a thrilling game of rugby at The Cloughan where Ballyclare and Clogher Valley both picked up bonus points. Clogher came out on top 27-25 in a rip-roaring Qualifying 1 fixture.

Andrew Butler, Willie Logan and Robert Smith (two) were the try scorers, with Smith adding a penalty, while Gary Clotworthy slotted over a conversion.

A pushover try got Clogher off to a fine start, but it was cancelled out when winger Butler out-paced the defence to make it 5-5.

Clogher nosed back in front from a rolling maul, but a Smith penalty closed the half-time gap to 12-8.

The visitors extended their lead with another try, but Ballyclare forged ahead for the first time with Logan’s unconverted score. Michael Rainey then set up Smith to cross for a score that put Ballyclare 18-17 ahead.

Clogher secured their bonus point with a fourth touchdown to lead 22-18, only for Smith to clinch a home bonus point with Clotworthy adding the extras.

A home win was on the cards but Clogher’s powerhouse front eight had the final say when a scrum led to the winning try.

Man of the Match: Willie Rea.