Trinity 25pts, Ballymena 20pts. April 23rd 2016.
Trinity hosted Ballymena on Saturday in the semi final of the promotion play off.
This was the third game between the well-matched teams this season, with each team winning their home tie.
Trinity came out impressively and took the early game to their opponents, out half Jack McDermott kicked an early penalty after a scrum had gone down.
Trinity then scored two tries in three minutes, when they combined to put several phases together, the first was scored when after the forwards took the ball up three times near the line, the ball was moved quickly through the hands to Full back Conor Kearns who found himself in space out wide and he cut inside the last defender to score.
Pretty much off the restart Trinity won the ball and scored a sensational try when wing Max McFarland was put away out wide by his captain Nick McCarthy just inside his own half after some good approach work by Prop Andrew Keating and flanker Brian Du Toit. The former Clongowes schoolboy ran away at great speed and stepped inside the Full back to score under the posts.
Trinity was in control at this juncture but some poor decision making near the Ballymena line denied them two or three more scores.
Ballymena were inevitably given field position by some sloppy play and they crashed over from close in. 15-10 at half time.
In the second half Trinity attacked well, but were held out by resilient visitors defence. Conor Kearns went close to scoring as did Raef Tyrrell. Both teams attacked and the game literally went end to end!
Trinity got another penalty in which McDermott slotted and then got the crucial score when they turned several phases along the Ballymena line. The ball was then moved from flanker Nick McCarthy to his partner and flanker Brian Du Toit and on to big Raef Tyrrell who crashed over. McDermott converting.
10 pts up with 8 minutes to go Trinity looked comfortable, but an error near the line led to another “Mena’ score.
At 25-20 Trinity played the last few minutes deep in the Ballymena half and eventually the referee ended the game much to the relief of the Trinity supporters.
Trinity now have to travel North to Ballynahinch next Saturday. ‘Hinch’ had a convincing win over Buccaneers 47-19. The winners play in Division 1A next season.
Trinity team; 15 Conor Kearns, 14 Tim Maupin, 13 Michael Courtney, 12 Paddy Lavelle (Colm Hogan 35), 11 Max McFarland, 10 Jack McDermott, 9 Angus Lloyd, 1 Eric O’Sullivan (James Bollard 60), 2 Patrick Finlay, 3 Andrew Keating (Tom Collis 65), 4 Jack Burke, 5 Raef Tyrrell (Cian O’Dwyer), 6 Nick McCarthy (Conor Gleeson), 7 Brian Du Toit, 8 Tom Ryan.