Larne’s 1st XV paid the price for squandered possession as they lost 25-17 against Limavady at Glynn on Saturday.
Larne went into the game as a much-changed side due to work commitments, injuries and the autumn internationals.
In a tight contest both teams exchanged early penalties through the boot of the Limavady full-back and Larne outhalf Jonny Milliken, which left the score at 6-6 a quarter of a way through the game.
Larne gained momentum and camped themselves in the Limavady half, however, they could not capitalise on the possession. After a clearance Limavady raced forward and good counter rucking set up their winger to run in under the posts to stun the home side.
Larne dominance in the visitors’ half paid off when captain James McCluggage broke the Limavady defence to score. Milliken missed the conversion.
A few minutes before the break the Limavady scrum-half chipped a ball over the top and their chasing winger barged Houston Saunderson out of the way for a score to make it 11-18.
The second half started a real battle with both teams running the ball at each other.
Ryan Garrett starred at full-back and their territory counted when Milliken slotted over a penalty. He kicked home another penalty to narrow the lead to one point but then Larne fell asleep.
Ill-discipline gave Limavady possession and they passed the ball out wide, dissecting the Larne midfield to run in for a score. The conversion was slotted over.
Larne battled back but could not breach the line and Limavady ran out 25-17 winners.
This score did not reflect the territory held by the home side the whole game. Larne simply could not convert possession into points. They now look forward to Saturday’s tie against Ballyclare.
Larne: J McKinty, C Gibson, D Hagans, M Crampsey, J McCluggage, J Cole, C Ferguson, E Hunter, J O’Toole, J Milliken, B Blair, J Hall, S Montgomery, H Saunderson, R Garrett.
Fixtures: (November 17):
Larne 1st XV vs Ballyclare 1st XV (home), Larne 3rd XV vs Armoy 2nd XV (away).
The pre-match function was kindly sponsored by Walter Thompson of Courtyard Plumbing.