Towns’ Cup performance draws praise from coaches

Thursday, 12 January 2017

BALLYMONEY First XV coaches James Cleland and Jonny Hanna were full of praise for their players following their win in the Towns' Cup against Lisburn.
In a thrilling game played at Kilraughts Road on Saturday, Ballymoney progressed to the next round with a well-deserved twenty points to six victory.
It was a remarkable turnaround from last season when the two sides met; last year Lisburn scored fifty points against the Toon in two league meetings.
“This year we seem to be much hungrier in defence and more together as a team," said the coaches. "However, it wouldn't be fair to say that we only defended as we did score three very good tries and had one disallowed and two more great chances which shows we can take these larger teams on.
“We weren't perfect, however, and we need to work on our discipline and some of our set pieces during training as we continue to look to improve."
“We now have the very difficult task of going to Letterkenny, which is never an easy place to play, this coming weekend," added Cleland and Hanna.
Lisburn are currently a league above Ballymoney so the Towns Cup game was going to be a real test for the Toon men. It would also give them some idea of how far they have developed as a squad since the start of the season. Preparations were hampered somewhat as a number of players were unavailable. Props Moxen and Blair were replaced by the youthful Andy Brown and Dan McCord while Clelend returned after a lengthy injury lay-off.
The opening stages of the game saw both teams jockey for possession with Lisburn coming close to breaking the deadlock against a somewhat flat-footed Ballymoney side. This allowed some of the visiting team's big runners to break the defensive line only for their final pass to be dropped.


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