Ballyclare travelled to Dromore on Saturday hoping to complete a Qualifying League Section 1 double, but it was the locals who emerged triumphant 19-13.
Even when playing against the wind in the first half Robert Boyd’s lads were on top, and led until seconds before the break when the hosts scored seven points that gave them a surprise lead.
Ballyclare were seven points up after only five minutes when a break from the base of a scrum by Willie Logan led to Andrew Wylie scoring his first senior try, converted by Gareth Byers.
But straight from the restart Dromore were back on level terms when one of their trademark rolling mauls produced a score that was goaled.
Play continued to be in home territory and two Byers penalties stretched the lead to 13-7.
Dromore came more in to the game and reduced the deficit to a single point with an unconverted try, before forging ahead for the first time with the last play of the first half, that produced their third try, which was converted to make it 19-13 at the interval.
Now with the strong wind in their favour, Ballyclare expected to clinch the points, but despite seldom being out of home territory they failed to alter the scoreline.
Vice-president, Robin Byers said: “We bombarded their line in the second half, but their defence was superb.
“This was Alister Lindsay’s first match as president, but unfortunately we were unable to get his term in the top post off to a winning start.”
Despite the defeat, thanks to their losing bonus point, Ballyclare still retain their fourth position ahead of Dromore, Portadown and CIYMS.
Next up: CIYMS (h).