With the seniors having no game, the spotlight was on Ballyclare’s 4th XV at the weekend and they delivered a fine 43-13 win against Portadown IV at The Cloughan in a Junior League Section 5 fixture.
Nathan Loughlin, who was a regular in last season’s 1st XV, had his first outing of the season, showing his class in the back division with a brace of first-half scores.
Last season’s skipper, Marc Fox, matched this with a personal double, while Samuel Logan also got his name on the scorecard. With John Wasson adding two conversions, Ballyclare were well on the way to victory with a 29-3 lead at the interval.
Good work by the pack led to young Luke Baillie crossing for a score, before Chris Gillen set up the final touchdown by Alan Jones from a quickly taken short penalty, while Wasson doubled his tally with two more conversions.
The Ports’ reply was restricted to two unconverted scores.
The Junior League Section 1 local derby between Carrick III and Ballyclare III ended all square, 29-29, at Tom Simms Memorial Park.
The Beasant brothers, Stephen and Peter, figured prominently for Ballyclare with each scoring a try, while winger Tom Wilson crossed twice.
The hosts seemed to have wrapped up the points going into the closing minutes leading 29-24, but there was a tense finish when Craig Agnew levelled the scores.
The result hinged on the conversion, but a victory was denied for the visitors when the ball hit the upright and bounced out.