Not a day for the fainthearted Lansdowne had to overcome the elements as well as a spirited Ballynahinch XV last Saturday and came away with a hard earned away victory.
With more disruption to selection Lansdowne travelled to Ballynahinch looking to build on their first win of the campaign a week earlier against Young Munster. Ballynahinch have not started too brightly in the league but they are always very difficult on home turf.
Lansdowne elected to play with the strong wind and driving rain to their backs and started brightly with a penalty from the impressiv Scott Deasy. A loose kick out of defence then offered Lansdowne a counter attack opportunity which the Cian Aherne duly put away to bag his 4th try in as many league games this season.
Lansdowne continued to dominate for most of the half and Deasy kept the scoreboard ticking over with another couple of penalties. Coming up to half-time Lansdowne secured good line out possession on the Ballynahinch 22 and began to maul towards the tryline. The maul slowed and Butterworth broke to the open slipped a couple of tackles and dived just right of the posts for a try. Deasy easily converted and Lansdowne went into the break 21 - 0 ahead.
Again Lansdowne were the better of the two teams at the start of the second half and could have added to their score when a clever cross kick from Tom Kiersey was dropped by an unmarked Aherne with the line at his mercy. Another scoring chance went abegging when a promising maul led to nothing as Lansdowne failed to control the ball well enough at the back.
Slowly Ballynahinch dragged themselves back into contention and were rewarded with a well mauled try from their pack. Lansdowne struggled to hold onto the ball in the atrocious conditions which combined with a high penalty count allowed Ballynahinch to begin to dominate territory. Tadgh Beirne was sinbinned with about five minutes left which made for an uneasy finish to the game for the brave Lansdowne supporters who had travelled to the game.
Ballynahinch scored with 2 minutes left - Another cross fieid kick gathered by their full back Adam Craig to dive over in the right hand corner. The try was converted which put Ballynahinch within a converted try of Lansdowne.
14 man Lansdowne responded excellently however winning the ball back off the ensuing restart and keeping control of the ball for the remainder of the game, closing the game out with a kick to touch from debutant Ian Burke. Prop Ben Byrne Diaper also made his debut coming off the bench to replace Adam Boland.
A tough victory on the road sets the team up well for our next game away to St Mary's this Friday.
Article related to 1st XV team.
Article related to 1st XV v Ballynahinch fixture.