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‘Hinch Hit Half Century Against Blackrock

‘Hinch Hit Half Century Against Blackrock

Ballynahinch earned their second successive win in Dublin, coming away from Stradbrook with a bonus point thanks to their 52-19 hammering of hosts Blackrock College.

This was the first ever meeting between these two clubs in any competition and Ballynahinch, backed by the wind, had to soak up some early pressure from the home side.

Blackrock College started the brighter with out-half David Godfrey having an early shot at the posts with a drop goal but his effort drifted wide.

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'Hinch responded well and opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a well-worked try. The move started by Aaron Ferris with Robin Harte continuing the attack before putting Chris Quinn clear to score. Quinn converted the try himself.

In-form winger Quinn was the playmaker in the 18th minute when he beat his man on the outside and sprinted clear from 60 metres then gave a perfectly-timed pass inside to Adam Craig who ran in under the posts to score. Quinn again added the extras.

Blackrock came back strongly in the 22nd minute and when 'Hinch flanker Paul Pritchard was yellow carded at a lineout, the hosts took full advantage and prop Colin Phillips was driven over for an unconverted try to close the gap to 14-5.

In the 26th minute it was case of déjà vu as Quinn rounded his man and made great ground upfield before putting full-back Craig through for his second try of the afternoon. The conversion followed from the influential Quinn.

The County Down outfit continued to pressurise the home defence and quick ball in the 39th minute gave Quinn an opening which he sailed through to grab the bonus point try.

Quinn fired over the conversion and completed his hat-trick of tries in injury-time. His sheer pace left the 'Rock defence flat-footed and he beat the last man to score. He turned it into a seven-pointer to leave it 35-5 for the break.

With the game effectively over, 'Hinch made a slow start to the second half allowing Blackrock to build some momentum and gain decent field position with experienced lock Des Dillon crashing over under the posts. Godfrey tagged on the conversion.

The visitors wasted no time in hitting back with two tries in two minutes. The first was scored by Craig who completed his hat-trick, and the second was scored by winger Ferris who ran in from his own half of the pitch. Both tries went unconverted.

In the 50th minute the home side crossed for their third try through Dillon's second row partner Michael Carroll and Godfrey supplied the extras for a 45-19 scoreline.

'Hinch had the final say when Michael Lawton rounded off a good day's work to beat the last 'Rock defender and touch down under the posts. He also converted to move the victors onto 52 points.

As a result of this runaway victory in Dublin and Malone's defeat to UCD at Gibson Park, Ballynahinch have gone top of the Division 1B standings ahead of next Friday's Ulster derby clash with Dungannon.

Referee: Kieran Barry (IRFU)