2nd XV lose to Banbridge 3rd XV in entertaining league opener

So Saturday brought upon a new dawn for Instonians 2nd XV in the COVID age as they welcomed what would always be a strong Banbridge 3rd XV.  

The team they were facing were obviously reeling from the league being cancelled previously and stopping what was probably an inevitable promotion, however a new coaching team of Messrs McCury, Cleland and Gallagher brought some renewed vigour to a group of players who can sometimes operate in limbo.    

The first half was played at pace and plenty of aggression.  

Banbridge who were obviously a well drilled and skillful team continuously came at the young Instonians squad.  The forward pack held out very well with strong scrummaging from Ross Jenkins and a returning Francesco to his preferred position of Prop.  

All members of the pack worked well throughout the game, with special mention to the work at the breakdown in the first half, multiple breaks were hindered through great scramble defence from the entire team and then some great work to steal a penalty at the breakdown.  

An early injury in the backline to Jonny Millar caused a reshuffle of the backline with Jack Cairns coming on and showing some strong carries.  

Our new antipodean visitor Matthew Richardson playing number 8 carried the ball very effectively and looks set to be a welcome addition to the Stones Family.  

The strong work in the first half tired out the Instonians team which caused a few gaps in defence, giving Banbridge the advantage of attacking the tired defence, resulting in some breakaway tries giving a flattering score of 32-10 to the visitors.  

Jack Magee scored Instonians try with a lovely interception on the half way line and showing some gazelle like speed, with equally Giraffe like high knees to run it in.  This marked a great game for Jack who made some excellent hits, worked tirelessly at the breakdown and stole some crucial lineout ball.   

If they are able to keep this squad together to train week in and week out, this looks set to be a good Instonians 2nd XV.