An early departure resulted in a slow start for the ERGS lads as they took on a much improved Banbridge side in their first away game of the season. As the ERGS 14s received the kick-off and mounted their first couple of attacking phases, it became obvious that Banbridge were much more organised than previous encounters. The opening score came from No.4 Mannix who managed to muscle his way over the line in broken play but it wasn’t long before smooth hands from the hosts allowed them to equalise in the corner. ERGS attacked again but a slippy ball made for too many handling errors and coupled with poor ruck speed from the back 5, Banbridge continued to make the best of turnover ball stretching our defence with back line overlaps. Despite this both Haire and Gamble managed to get over the line to keep the ERGS lads one try ahead by half time.
From the half time restart, No.12 Gould ran a superb line from within the ERGS half putting the boys further ahead, but yet again Banbridge were not going to roll over easily and continued to fight back. With minutes to go a penalty for the hosts on the ERGS 5 meter line was successfully converted into a try putting them ahead for the first time in the game.
Although frustratingly late in the day, this was the point that the ERGS lads realised they had one chance left and needed to switch on or go home disappointed. From a quick restart, No. 9 Beddard drilled the drop kick at his opposite number causing a knock-on and scrum in our favour; No.8 Gamble went blind and a perfectly timed offload to a flying Wallace got the much needed 5 points in the corner.
A nail biting finish that really tested the boys and a big well done to the hosts who definitely gave us something to think about before next Saturday against Rainey. Final score 24-25 to ERGS
M Mannix,BHaire, G Gamble, D Gould, B Wallace
MOM : Lewis McCormick