1st XV win at Ballyclare 1st XV

1st XV have bonus point win 31-20 away to Ballyclare 1st XV in another crucial league match.

Only two weeks ago the two teams met on New Year’s Eve in the Junior Cup quarter final. The result that day was the same with Instonians winning 28-17.

Like two weeks ago, both teams presented the big crowd with a top class, exciting game of rugby.

Instonians stole the kick off with a superb jump from winger Michael Melville, this allowed Instonians to immediately get into their patterns.

Strong Ballyclare defence meant Instonians had to revert to a box kick and eventually it was Ballyclare’s turn to test the Instonians defence. Just when Instonians thought they had weathered the storm they were penalised around their 10 yard line.

Ballyclare slotted the penalty.

Ballyclare 3          Instonians 0

From the restart Instonians pressure led to them getting the ball. Flanker Bevan Prinsloo made a great midfield break and off loaded to centre Mark Keane who mad ground. The pressure told and Ballyclare gave away a penalty. Instonians kicked to the corner, lineout, maul and hooker Neill Saulters touches down. Scrumhalf Matthew Keane slots the difficult conversion.

Ballyclare 3          Instonians 7

This time from the restart the teams decided to have a period of ping pong as the backs kicked the ball to each other until centre Mark Keane’s kicked a 50/20, Instonians getting a lineout in the Ballyclare 22. From this Instonians tested the Ballyclare defence. Another penalty and another maul, this time the ball was moved to midfield and clever offloads led to centre David Scott crashing over. Matthew Keane converting.

Ballyclare 3          Instonians 14

A cracker of a game was entertaining the big crowd. Both sides testing each other out. Eventually Ballyclare took play to the Instonians line and a penalty was converted.

Ballyclare 6          Instonians 14

As both sides warmed up, the pace quickened and the hits got bigger. Ballyclare had most of the possession and territory but the closest they got was a kick through that went dead.

Another Ballyclare break through, Instonians missed tackle but the kick also went dead and the whistle blew for halftime.


Ballyclare 6          Instonians 14

Could the 2nd half be as competitive as the first?

Ballyclare restarted the 2nd half and a clever kick pinned Instonians in their own 22. A couple of solid Instonians lineouts brought play into the Ballyclare half. When Ballyclare spilled the ball and Instonians kicked through they were unlucky not to score.

When an Instonians clearance kick failed to make touch Ballyclare countered well, a clever kick over and catch led to a missed Instonian tackle and the Ballyclare player touched down at the posts. Try converted.

Ballyclare 13       Instonians 14

Now it was Instonians turn to counter from a poor Ballyclare kick, Mark Keane made a great break and eventually Ballyclare were penalised for collecting their own knock on. Play was now in their 22. Lineout and maul brought it to their line and after several phases scrumhalf Matthew Keane touched the ball down on the line and converted his own try.

Ballyclare 13       Instonians 21

A good Ballyclare kick got play into the Instonians 22 and when Mark Keane was forced into touch they had a very attacking lineout. A clever move at the front of the lineout allowed Ballyclare to dive over and the difficult kick was made.

Ballyclare 20       Instonians 21

As was expected this match was living up to expectations. 10 minutes left and 1 point in it!!

Instonians defence held off another Ballyclare attacking lineout and then after several phases and penalties got play into the Ballyclare 22. Lineout, maul and good offloads before flanker Bevan Prinsloo crashed over under the posts. Bonus point try. Converted

Ballyclare 20       Instonians 28

Instonians attacked from the restart and Ballyclare scramble D hauled down Instonians winger Michael Melville. From a scrum going backwards Ballyclare tried to run it and were penalised at the ruck. Matthew Keane slotted it and the whistle blew.

Final score

Ballyclare 20       Instonians 31

Another match in this league that was not certain until the final whistle.

Thanks to Ballyclare for a tough match.

Good luck to them in the All Ireland Junior Cup Final against Clogher Valley on sat 29th Jan at the Kingspann (5.30pm kick off)

Thanks to the ref for officiating the game very well indeed.

Big thanks to all Instonians who were at Ballyclare: Supporters, Parents, Coaches and of course the players.

The league title is still possible!!

Photos on facebook page

(14) Instonians Rugby Club | Facebook


Next game:

Sat 21st January 22

Away to Enniskillen in the league

2.30pm kick off

Just like at Ballyclare the team would welcome a large vocal support!!