Ballymena - 30, DLSP - 12

 

Ballymena might have cruised to an easy Division One opener against a DLSP side who quickly lost their discipline and shape, but their coach Andre Bester was still far from satisfied.

"I was very disappointed with our scrummaging, although our line-outs worked very well," said Bester who hopes to go one stage further than last season's semi-final stage," said Bester.

On Saturday it was the old hands who paved the way for an emphatic victory once they had controlled DLSP's early venom.

The return of international new boy Gary Longwell helped gel a rampant pack in which Mark Blair and initially Dean Macartney were prominent.

Three first half tries from Shane Stewart, Macartney and Rhys Botha put Ballymena 17-0 up at the break and they had the game and the five points wrapped up by midway through the second half when Jeff Parkes added a penalty to his earlier conversion and hooker Paul Shields crashed over at a line-out.

Scoring sequence: 7mins: Stewart try, 5-0; 25: Macartney try. 10-0; 40: Botha try, Parke con, 17-0; 47: Parke pen, 20-0; 54: Shields try, 25-0; 59:Nelson try, 30-0; 76; Devitt try, 30-5; 80: B Wood try, Broughton con, 30-12.

Ballymena: J Park; J Topping, S Stewart, R Botha, S Young (A Maxwell, 64); A Derwin, B Free (N Doak, 68); N McKernan, P Shields (R Kernohan, 71), C Millar (L Stewart, 67), M Blair, G Longwell, A Graham (C Beukes, 65), J Taggart, D Macartney (R Nelson, 50).

DLSP: E Davitt; P Costello, S Stephens, D McCabe (D O'Riordan, 73), C Cadogan (M Cross, 60); S Broughton, B Hogan; K Ashmore, S Sarsfield (M Kavanagh, 60), D Masters, A Wood, R Frost (A Toher, 75), D Maher, T Giles, capt, (P McDonald, 75), B Wood.

Referee: T Redmond (Leinster).

Yellow cards: McKernon (Ballymena, 2), A Wood (DLSP), C Cadogan (DLSP). Red card: McKernon.