Ballyclare returned to Qualifying 1 action with a thumping 37-7 bonus-point home victory over Ballymoney.
Tries from Al Boyd, David Clarke, David Crawford (two) together with a fantastic kicking performance from Robert Smith secured a comfortable win at The Cloughan on Saturday afternoon.
The home side took an early lead with Smith slotting over two penalties to send his side 6-0 up.
The Cloughan men held firm after a period of Ballymoney pressure which culminated in a missed penalty.
Ballyclare hit back and progressed deep into Ballymoney territory and Boyd crossed the line for the opening try which Smith converted.
A third penalty by Smith kept the score board ticking over in Ballyclare’s favour as they reached half time 16-0 to the good.
The home side upped the ante in the second session and it wasn’t long before Clarke found a gap to score Ballyclare’s second try which was duly converted by Smith.
Clarke and Crawford then combined to produce Ballyclare’s next score. From a line-out in the Ballymoney half, the ball reached Clarke in the 10 channel. He blazed towards the line and the supporting Crawford received the pass to score. Smith’s kick from the resulting conversion made it 30-0.
With Ballyclare now asserting their authority, the bonus-point fourth try soon arrived. Ballyclare’s back line fluently combined to allow Crawford to score his second of the match with the ever-reliable Smith adding the extras.
Ballymoney did land a late consolation score and conversion to leave the full-time score 37-7.
Smith, who had 100 per cent success with the boot, was awarded Man of the Match.
Elsewhere, the Seconds lost 35-3 at Omagh while Marc Fox’s 4th XV won 11-3 against Newry II.
Fixtures (Nov. 22): Grosvenor II v Ballyclare II; 3rd XV v Randalstown II.
Ballyclare: Smith, Kirk, Clarke, Crawford, Greer, N. Lawther, Morrow; D. Lawther, Holmes, A. Boyd, R. Boyd, G. McKinstry, Chambers, Weatherup, Logan. Replacements: J. McKinstry, Brownlee.