Coach Soper 'gutted' as brave Ballyclare lose out to Methody
BALLYCLARE High School rugby coach Daniel Soper said he was "gutted" after his side's valiant 20-0 Schools' Cup defeat to Methody.
The clash was meant to be played at Pirrie Park on Saturday but freezing conditions saw the quarter-final fixture moved to Tuesday afternoon.
Soper watched as his side put in a resilient first half display only to see Methody score a try right on half-time to take a 5-0 lead into the break.
During the first half Jonny Holmes was forced off injured while full back Chris Harvey could have given Ballyclare the lead but missed his penalty.
Captain David Clarke led by example, Trevor McClintock was dominant in the lineout and the front row trio of Ben Wilson, Mark Logan and Steven Forbes also battled well.
In the second half Ballyclare did enjoy a period of sustained pressure in the Methody twenty two but the Belfast team were just too strong for the High School and added a further fifteen points to their lead.
Speaking to the Times after the match Soper said: “I am disappointed because we were decent throughout the game. The first half was an excellent display from us and we managed to contain them until they scored on the stroke of half-time.
“In the second half we made too many errors and Methody didn’t allow us to put any pressure on them. If I’m honest I thought the scoreline flattered them. Maybe 15-0 would have been a more accurate outcome but considering they beat us 50-0 in September it proves we have definitely come a long way since then.”
“Our season is now effectively over but we have a strong nucleus of players to work with next year,” he added.