Larne 13, Limavady 8
Limavady slipped to a first defeat of the season against Qualifying Two title rivals Larne in a game that would go along way in deciding the promotion race.
With a breeze in their backs, the ‘Roesiders’ took the game to the hosts and for the opening 15 minutes were camped in the Larne half but the home defence were in no mood to let the visitors get anywhere near the try line.
Sixteen minutes in and against the run of play, Larne turned over possession in a Limavady ruck and kicked deep into the Limavady half. Continued pressure resulted in a further turn-over and a simple, but unconverted try for the Larne centre to give the hosts a 5-0 lead.
This turned out to be Larne’s only venture into the Limavady half in the first half. The Roesiders continued to dominatein the set-pieces, continuously disrupting the Larne line-out but found the Larne defence in excellent form. Time and time again Limavady ran at them but time and time again Larne meet the challenge head on. The visitors did manage to reduce the interval deficit through a Greg Jordan penalty but 5-3 was scant reward for their display.
Limavady continued to dominate the ball in the second half, but aided by the breeze Larne were able to force them back into their own half and midway through the second period extended their lead to five from a penalty.
This began a frustrating period for the Roesiders. As the penalty count began to rise alongside the error count, failure to deal with a loose ball was punished by the Larne full-back who touched down in the corner for a 10-3 lead.
Limavady’s dominance of the set-play continued and in injury time Chrissy Hunter put full-back Peter Wilson into the corner for what proved to be the final score
A very frustrating day for Limavady who were dominant up front and enjoyed plenty of possession but had nothing to show for it.
Limavady team: P. Wilson. T McClelland. A. Kilburn. C. Hunter. S. Roddy. G. Jordan. J. Miller. C. Scott. I. Campbell. J. McCollum. M. McCollum. P. Semple. B. Hamilton. R. McCollum.
In Saturday’s other games the Seconds XV had a terrific 31-22 win away to Portadown Thirds while the Saracens lost to Tir Chonaill 36-15.
Next week’s fixtures see the First XV on the road again, this time to play the P.S.N.I. The Seconds XV are home to Lisburn Seconds and the Saracens have no game.