Classy Campbell seals victory

Classy Campbell seals victory

5 December 2018

BALLYNAHINCH secured an excellent away win on the artificial surface at Old Wesley as a strong second half performance was enough to get them over the line in a match strewn with penalties.

‘Hinch lost Rory Butler, James Simpson, Stuart Morrow to injury during the extremely physical encounter with Banbridge and, coupled with the unavailability of Johnny McPhillips, their midfield had to be rejigged completely with Callum McLaughlin and Robin Harte starting in the centre, outside fly half Hilton Gibbons.

Tom Martin came in at lock to replace Simpson and the pack was bolstered by Tommy O’Hagan, who made his debut at tight head prop. After his try-scoring cameo for the seconds last week, Ross Adair was added to the bench.

The first half was a dour affair. Old Wesley scored an early converted try, but the ‘Hinch’s blanket defence was able to keep the home side at arm’s length for the rest of the half and 

four penalties from the booming left boot of Peter Nelson kept the visitors in touch. 

Two well struck penalties from the reliable Rory Stynes gave Old Wesley a narrow 13-12 lead at half-time.

The arm wrestle continued early in the second half with another exchange of penalties making it 16-15 coming up to the hour mark.

Ballynahinch were starting to dominate the physical exchanges and were rewarded with a try from replacement Adair as the game moved into the final quarter. 

He seems to have lost none of his electric pace following hip surgery and the coaching staff will hope to ease him back into the starting line-up as he gets more rugby under his belt. 

The travelling support were spared a nervy finish when front row replacement Campbell Classon went over following a sustained bout of ‘Hinch pressure on the Wesley line. 

Nelson completed a fine afternoon’s work with the boot with the conversion sealing a 27-16 victory.

The rest of the results in 1B fell perfectly for the Co Down men and the top five teams are now separated by just two points, with Ballynahinch right in the mix for promotion once again.

Old Wesley 16

Ballynahinch 27