Bangor won the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup for the first time in the club’s history with a narrow 7-5 win over Instonians at a wet and windy Kingspan Stadium.
Having lost seven previous final appearances, Bangor scored a converted try late in the second half of an error-strewn game to finally get their hands on the silverware.
Cup holders Instonians had led 5-0 at the end of a first half which saw them reduced to 14 men on two separate occasions, captain Glen Baxter and fullback Andrew MdGregor both put to the bin on six and 34 minutes.
The try came on the 17th minute when the standout player of the first half, Robbie Kirk crossed.
Richard McCarthy’s conversion attempt was as poor as the Bangor penalty effort from Mark Widdowson after five minutes - both well off the target.
Bangor played most of the rugby in the second half after McCarthy had missed a penalty after 48 minutes.
The Seasiders rallied going into the final quarter and after a lot of pressure on the line following penalty after penalty, the pack finally straightened up and drove over with Curtis Stewart getting the touchdown at the bottom of the maul.
Widdowson’’s conversion made it 7-5.
Inst were not giving the trophy up without a fight and they put Bangor under pressure before yielding a penalty.
Replacement Fraser Wright opted for the posts, but his last minute effort drifted wide and Bangor retained possession and ran the clock down to secure a long awaited piece of silverware back at Uprtichard Park.
BANGOR: Ross McCloskey; David Charles, Rob Gamble, Desi Fusco, Mark Widdowson; Jason Morgan, Jason Gutherie; Michael Ferguson, Andrew Jackson, Phil Whyte, Darren Kelly, Craig Burton, David Bradford, Jamie Clegg (capt), Curtis Stewart.
Replacements: Orran McIlmurray, Patrick Dornan, David Caughey, Mike Weir, Adam McCusker.
INSTONIANS:Andrew McGregor; Matt Kilpatrick, Joe Fryers, Rory Bell, Robbie Kirk; Richard McCarthy; Matthew Keane; Co9no0r Gallagher, Glen Baxter (capt), Alan Whitten, Harry Cleland, James Le Broy, Robert Whitten, Matt Dawson, Rory McCurry.
Replacements: Josh Cregan, Paddy Bell, Lewis McNamara, Fraser Wright, Josh Lewis.