RUGBY: Banbridge remain unbeaten in AIL Division 2A after victory over Malone

Kallan Martin in action for Banbridge.
Kallan Martin in action for Banbridge.

MALONE 13 BANBRIDGE 19

Banbridge kept their unbeaten record intact with a hard fought AIL Division 2A Ulster derby win over Malone at Gibson park.

Malone dominated the opening exchanges and took the lead on 13 minutes with a penalty from centre Josh Pentland after Banbridge were caught offside in front of their own posts.

Banbridge missed the chance to level the scores three minutes later when out half Ian Porter saw his penalty strike the upright.

Banbridge nearly had the opening try on 20 minutes. They kicked a penalty to touch and from the lineout the forwards drove close to the line and after a series of pick and goes, lock Kallan Martin crossed but the score was disallowed for accidental offside in the build up.

The visitors struck four minutes before the break with a try from tight head prop Stu Cromie.

From a penalty to touch, the forwards drove infield before a gap opened for Cromie who evaded some weak tackling to run under the posts from 20 metres. Porter added the simple conversion to give Banbridge a 7-3 lead at the interval.

Porter missed an opportunity to extend Banbridge’s when he was off target with his kick after the forwards won a scrum penalty.

Malone regained the lead on 61 minutes following a sustained period of pressure in the Bann 22.

Following a series of five metre scrums the pack were able to drive over allowing scrum half Connor Spence to touch down at the back of the maul and Pentland converted.

Banbridge got their second try on 67 minutes from hooker Peter Cromie.

Winger Simon Lloyd made the initial line break; the Malone defence shot out of the line and Ian Porter spun the ball wide, the backs moved the ball through the hands before the hooker popped up to finish the move with Porter converting.

Banbridge wrapped up victory with an unconverted try from John Porter who finished off a slick handling move but brother Ian failed to convert. Nathan Brown’s late penalty earned Malone a losing bonus point.

Malone:

A Bryans, M Barker, M Cartmill, J Pentland, D Irvine, N Brown, C Spence

D Fitzpatrick, D Kerr, P Eadie, J McAllister, C Davidson, B McDonnell, N Alcorn, M Shiels

Replacements D Cave, L Barlow, J Ferguson, S Kelly, A Liddell

Banbridge:

J Agnew, J Porter, A Morrison, J Little, S Lloyd, I Porter, J Cromie

M Cromie, P Cromie, S Cromie, C Allen, K Martin, R Sinton, D Carson, S Irvine

Replacements A Jackson, J McCrum, P Jordan, R Hughes, M O’Hagan