Ballyclare battled bravely at Clogher Valley but it was the home side who collected the Qualifying 1 points.
After turning round eight points ahead, the hosts added another try to win 15-7, with hooker Ross Scott getting Ballyclare’s score.
Coach Mike McKeever made a couple of enforced changes from the side that had won so convincingly the previous week, with experienced Robert Boyd and promising young Matthew Robson installed as locks, while Gary Clotworthy took over at ten.
Clogher opened the scoring in the 20th minute. A scrum was successfully wheeled, allowing their number eight, Wilson, to pick up and crash through a couple of tackles for a score which was not converted.
Moments later they added another three points from a penalty, but were denied further scores before the interval by some resolute defending.
With the elements in their favour in the second half, Ballyclare had hoped to fare better, but it was the locals who got the next score when another driving maul resulted in a penalty try being awarded, giving them a 15-0 lead.
The White Hare men’s response arrived in the 65th minute when a maul inside the home 22 led to Scott picking up and diving over for a converted score.
The front row of Lawther, Scott and Al Boyd worked hard to deal with Clogher’s experienced front three, while Robert Boyd and Robson took clean ball in the line-out. Boyd also proved to be a main ball carrier, while the back row of Weatherup, Logan and Robinson also performed well.
The backs performed well in difficult handling conditions, despite having to reorganise a couple of times owing to injuries to Clotworthy and Byers. Thankfully both players were able to resume after treatment, and with the seniors having no game next week they should be available for the home match against Omagh on February 20.
Ballyclare: G Byers, JJ Baird, S Cusack; D Clarke, R Tweed; G Clotworthy, T McGookin, D Lawther, R Scott, A Boyd, R Boyd, M Robson, G Weatherup (c), P Robinson, W Logan.
The 2nd XI won the bottom of the table Junior League local derby with Larne II at Glynn, where scores from Stephen Bailie (2), Adam Neill, Tony Turner, Dave Roger and Kris James plus an Andy Watson conversion saw the Clare side to a comprehensive 32-10 win.