Donaldson the toast of Ballynahinch after try double secures silverware

Ballynahinch II celebrate their Junior Cup success at Ravenhill
Ballynahinch II celebrate their Junior Cup success at Ravenhill

Two tries from captain Josh Donaldson paved the way for Ballynahinch 2s to win the Millar, McCall, Wylie Ulster Junior Cup against Ballyclare at Ravenhill and make up for losing last year’s final by a point.

Both teams went into the final boasting unbeaten records in all competitions.

Kukri Section Two side, Ballyclare had been at Ravenhill last season, but shared the Towns’ Cup with City of Derry II.

Having already accounted for some big scalps this season in Clogher Valley and Coleraine, there had been an expectation the men from The Cloughan had one more big performance up their sleeve.

But Hinch IIs, spurred on by the fact their firsts had lost the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup final six days earlier at Uslter headquarters, were not to be denied for a second successive season.

Donaldson broke the deadlock on seven minutes with his first try.

Hinch kicked a penalty into touch, from the lineout the forwards drove but were stopped short, the ball was quickly recycled for Donaldson to power over from close range with outhalf Davy Harris adding the conversion.

Ballyclare wasted their first chance to score when they kicked a penalty to touch but lost the lineout in Hinch’s 22.

Ballyclare wasted another opportunity after flanker Gary Weatherup was taken out of the ball, again they went for touch, they controlled the lineout but spilled it forward from a driving maul.

Ballyclare eventually did get over the line but prop Al Boyd’s try was disallowed for a forward pass.

The Co Antrim side had another chance when they earned a free kick for a lineout infringement deep in the Hinch 22 but they lost the ball in contact.

After absorbing a lot of pressure during the opening 40 minutes it was Hinch that finished the half the strongly and should have had a second try, from a line out they moved the ball the width of the pitch but winger Jordan Graham was bungled into touch just short of the line.

Hinch missed the chance to extend their lead on 49 minutes when Harris dragged a penalty wide after Ballyclare were punished for hands in the ruck.

Ballyclare had Weatherup yellow carded on 53 minutes for deliberately killing the ball.

Hinch made their numerical advantage count as Donaldson went over for his second try on 59 minutes.

Ballyclare tried to run the ball from deep but were turned over just outside their own 22, Hinch moved the ball through the hands and Donaldson went over in the corner and Harris converted from a tight angle.

Ballyclare were given a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty try on 72 minutes.

Centre Jonny Reid cut through the defence and as he was going over to ground the ball Owen Jarvine stooped him with a high tackle and the referee gave a penalty try and yellow carded the Hinch winger with Colin Morrow converting.

The fight back was shorted lived as Hinch forced a penalty from the restart and Harris slotted it over.