RUGBY: Larne men lose out by a single point

Larne's Stephen Marshall is tackled cy a Lisburn opponent in Saturday's match. INLT 41-362-PR
Larne's Stephen Marshall is tackled cy a Lisburn opponent in Saturday's match. INLT 41-362-PR

Larne First XV went down by a solitary point as they entertained Lisburn on Saturday.

The game was evenly poised in early exchanges, with the much bigger Lisburn pack not making any in roads against the gutsy Glynn men.

Lisburn were first to register points by slotting over a penalty. The home side rallied back and dominated the game, but could not seem to breach the visitors’ defence in the final 22.

Just before the half-time whistle, Larne were awarded a penalty that they opted to kick. Hall missed marginally with his attempt.

In the second half, a costly mistake let Lisburn off the hook and they were able to clear their lines and gallop up the pitch.

A Larne infringement gave Lisburn another kickable penalty that they duly slotted over.

After a few words from captain McCluggage, the Larne men regrouped and got back at the job.

They were awarded another penalty which Hall slotted over, and with Larne now in the ascendancy they began to move ball up field.

A quick tap-penalty by Ricky McIlheron saw him run the ball in the Lisburn 22.

He was held up but the ball was recycled and spun wide to Hall who broke through the Lisburn defence fending off a couple of defenders to score his second try in as many weeks. He was, however, unlucky with his conversion out wide.

Larne were now in control, but they could still not capitalise. A loss of concentration again saw them lose the ball too easily and Lisburn ran up the field.

A Larne infringement gave Lisburn a kickable penalty in front of the posts, which they slotted over once again.

With 10 minutes remaining, the homes side were just one point behind. As they moved up field Lisburn infringed again. Matthew Agnew stepped up to hit the penalty, but put the ball just to the right-hand side of the post. With Larne still inside the Lisburn half they continued to dominate, but they could not find a way through.

For what was a crucial must-win game for the Larne men, they were devastated with the result.

They will have to lick their wounds, use this week as a rest and go to their next game in Enniskillen with a positive attitude.

Team: C Rea, C Gibson, D Hagans, J McKinty, M Crampsey, C Ferguson, G Jamison, J McCluggage (Capt), R McIlheron, G Knox, M Agnew, J Hall, S Montgomery, H Saunderson, S Marshall.