Fionn Carr was on fire as Blackrock College romped to a 41-24 win over Ballymena at Stradbrook on Saturday afternoon.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, February 17
BLACKROCK COLLEGE 41 BALLYMENA 24, Stradbrook
Scorers: Blackrock: Tries: Fionn Carr 3, Emmett Farrell, David Rowan; Cons: Carr 5; Pens: Carr 2
Ballymena: Tries: Andy Graham, Darren Best, Chris Henry, Scott Young; Cons: Craig Woods 2
The former Ireland Under-21 international grabbed a personal haul of 31 points – three tries, five conversions and two penalties – to end ‘Rock’s recent run of four league defeats.
The young full-back touched down twice to help the hosts to a 24-12 half-time lead. Player-coach Emmett Farrell, who filled in at out-half with aplomb, also crossed the Ballymena whitewash.
Tries from Andy Graham, Darren Best, Chris Henry and Scott Young got the Braidmen level at 24-24, but Carr’s third try and another from scrum half David Rowan settled the issue.
Man of the match Carr, a member of the Leinster Academy, landed an early penalty to get the glut of points-scoring underway. He soon added a converted try, escaping the clutches of Peter Budina to dot down, for a 10-0 ‘Rock lead.
Flanker Graham replied for the visitors, notching his fourth of the campaign, but a slick back line move that ended with Farrell darting over added further comfort to the hosts’ lead.
Giving a better reflection of the proceedings, which saw the Ballymena pack on top for much of the first half, lock Best muscled over for his side’s second try.
Carr though made it a double scores lead at the break as he hared up into the attacking line and finished off another impressive counter from the ‘Rock backs.
‘Rock lost flanker Richard Woods to a yellow card and Ballymena took advantage with back rower Henry and out-half Young, on an 85-metre burst, finishing off counter attacks.
Craig Woods converted Henry’s effort and that 12-point haul leveled the game, just short of the hour mark.
The 20-year-old Carr still had plenty of tricks left up his sleeve and he took his points tally for the league season to 122 by flinging over his second penalty and converting his third try and Rowan’s late breakaway score.
Mention much be given to the ‘Rock pack who upped their efforts superbly for the closing stages, with Leinster lock Adam Byrnes having a big influence.
IrishRugby.ie man of the match: Carr (Blackrock) Blackrock College: F Carr; A Henry, S Morrissey, K Tonetti, P Louvet; E Farrell, D Rowan; F Pala’amo (K Malone 78), J Mannion (H Vermaas 25), P Graham, L Cuffe, A Byrnes (O Cullen 66), D Dillon, D Laffan (D Hayes 71), R Woods.
Ballymena: C Smith; P Budina, J Topping (J Burgess 54), J McGrugan, A Maxwell; S Young, C Woods; A Kirkpatrick (P Steenkamp 44), M Harshaw, S Shawe, I Caldwell, D Best, A Graham, R Young, C Henry.
Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU)