After playing so well in earlier rounds of the competition with wins over Armagh 2s and Clogher Valley, Lisburn narrowly lost 19-14 last year’s semi finalists, Malone 2s.
Played in good conditions the match started well with both sides throwing the ball about to probe for gaps.
Malone opened the scoring on ten minutes when a missed tackle allowed their right wing in for a rather soft 5 pointer but almost immediately Lisburn came right back into it after a superb break out by flanker Andy Jameson.
The ball was brought right up to the Malone line but alas white line fever prevented the ball from being released to the unmarked left wing and the chance was lost.
Lisburn persisted and were rewarded shortly afterwards with a scrum penalty after their front five had pressurised the Malone eight and Richard McGregor kicked the points 5-3.
On the half hour Malone widened the gap to 12-3 after they drove through the visitor’s defence for a good converted try but from the re-start Lisburn again came back into it with another McGregor penalty to bring the score to 12-6 at the half-time whistle.
With the words of coaches Postlethwaite and Moore ringing in their ears, and a slight breeze now at their back, Lisburn started the second half on the attack but once again it was Malone who drew first blood.
Ten minutes in they took a tap penalty to run through the Lisburn defence and make it 19-6.
Lisburn came back with an excellent try just ten minutes from time, as they were awarded a penalty ten metres out and opted for a scrum.
Despite going into reverse at the put in, the Lisburn 8 held their ground sufficiently to allow No 8, Willi Lil Tee to pick up from the retreating scrum and round the opposition to score in the corner. While the conversion failed, McGregor kicked a penalty just minutes later to make the score 19-14.
With just seven minutes remaining, and a Malone forward in the bin, Lisburn fancied their chances of pulling the game out of the fire but a very much reduced period of injury time saw them run out of time and Malone were relieved to hear the final whistle. This was a very encouraging performance from Lisburn but they must now turn their minds to securing league wins to bring them away from the bottom half of the table. This Saturday Lisburn travel to play newly promoted Lurgan in what promises to be a defining moment in their aspirations for the season.