Victorious start for Larne Youth rugby team

LARNE RUGBY Club’s youth team got their league challenge off to a winning start against Ballymoney at the Glynn.

Despite the fact that practically all of this team are in their first year at this age level, they in no way have felt intimidated by any opposition to date and indeed have had fine victories in friendlies against both Instonians and Coleraine, as well as a hard-fought draw with Ballymena in recent weeks.

Larne received the ball from the kick-off and, using their well-drilled pack, quickly had Ballymoney camped in their own 22. With resulting pressure Larne were awarded a scrum and the Larne pack put Ballymoney on the back foot with the front row of Karl McKee, Derek Ferguson and Joseph Johnston setting the tone of what would be a very uncomfortable day for their opposite numbers.

With good, clean ball being provided by the pack the halfback partnership of Jordan Burns and Anton White were quick to take advantage and a back line move resulted in wing Derek Corken receiving the ball just outside the Ballymoney 22, from where he made a searing run, brushing off his opposite number to touch down. Kicker Philip Andrews converted.

With the Larne pack creating all sorts of havoc at the breakdown, most notably from flankers captain Gareth Jameson and Dan Campbell, Ballymoney gave away a penalty just outside their 22 from which Philip Andrews took the score to 10-0.

Larne went into the second half with the same determination and quickly found themselves well into the opposition 22 through the hard running of Robbie Nixon from full back. A series of scrums gave the prefect platform for number eight James McNee to run in a try from 10 yards out, brushing off a few unfortunate tacklers in the process.

With the try converted, taking the score to 17-0, Larne momentarily let their guard down and a valiant effort by the Ballymoney midfield took the play into the Larne 22 for the first time in the second half and scored an unconverted try.

Larne were in no mood to give away any further points and kept the ball for the last 10 minutes in the Ballymoney half, thus ensuring their league campaign got off to a deserved victory.