1st XV Randalstown Away
Lisburn Come A Cropper Against Randalstown
Randalstown 23 – Lisburn 5
Last Saturday at Randalstown the Smiley Monroe sponsored Lisburn 1st XV came a cropper against a committed and well coached home outfit. With good weather for a change and following on from an excellent win over Academy the previous week, Lisburn had higher expectations than a 23-5 defeat but the Gary Longwell coached Randalstown had other ideas. Lisburn started well putting pressure on the home defence but a missed tackle on the 15 minute mark allowed a prop to get up a head of steam near the Lisburn line and from the ensuing ruck Lisburn infringed to give away three points. Within minutes Lisburn got a similar opportunity but the penalty bounced back off the upright and the score remained at 3-0. Randalstown were playing a fast and open game at this point and following a surge to the Lisburn line a blocked clearance saw the ball bounce awkwardly and Randalstown were in for a try in the corner. To make matters worse, the conversion was kicked from the touchline and Randalstown had a 10-0 lead, hardly reflective of the balance of play.
Lisburn came right back immediately and spent the next ten minutes banging away at the home line with some superb line out work and rucking and they were rewarded when the ball was eventually moved out the line and outside centre Adam Melville was put in for the try. However, within minutes the gap was widened again when following an innocuous looking scrum which Lisburn assumed they were going to win, was lost and the winger was found out of position thus leaving a big gap through which Randalstown ran to score. This left the halftime score at 15-5 to Randalstown.
The second half saw Lisburn try hard to get back into the game and a great break by winger Owen Hilary saw him putting charging full back Scott Hughes through to the posts. However, they were called back for a forward pass and the opportunity was lost. On the 35 minute mark a high tackle by excellent flanker Stewart Evans resulted in a further three points for the home team but it also meant a visit to the sin bin and in his absence the flying Randalstown pack broke the line and put their backs through for another try to bring up the final score of 23-5. Lisburn will be disappointed with this result but must pick themselves up again for the final two matches, Carrick on 29th March and Grosvenor on a date yet to be agreed. If they can win both of these games they can still end up in the upper echelons of the league. This Saturday the 1st team have a break and the focus will be on the 2nd and 3rd XVs who play Larne 2s and Randalstown 2s respectively, both games at Blaris.