Grosvenor travelled to Ballymoney for this pre-season friendly with a depleted squad , and with a new coaching set up in place. Coaches McKee and McMullan had a decent pre season and were looking forward to this opening encounter. In splendid conditions, the coaches must have been impressed with their charges, when they went into a 5-0 lead inside the first minute. An errant clearance kick was run back at a broken defence and centre Cameron Knell waltzed in for the first try. The conversion was unsuccessful, but Grosvenor's appetite to keep ball in hand , tested the home side whose defence proved up to the task. Henry Ferris dominated the line out and the scrum certainly got the better of their opponents although the referee did not always agree with your correspondent's analysis of this facet of the game ! Tim McMullan converted a simple penalty to increase the lead to 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Grosvenor incur the referee's wrath , with a plethora of penalties for various offences and Ballymoney consistently kicked to the corner but either the lineout was stolen or was crooked or a resilient defence kept them out, but the score remained 8-0 at the end of this 2nd quarter.
The coaches made changes for this quarter and Ballymoney put pressure on the visiting side and were rewarded with a try after a series of repelled drives. The conversion was missed and the score was now 8-5 to Grosvenor.
The final quarter was dominated by good Grosvenor defence, despite more penalties. Tim McMullan added a further penalty when Ballymoney were marched back 10 metres. This left the final score as Grosvenor 11 Ballymoney 5.
The coaches will be delighted to get up and running and should take pleasure in the win. Early season friendlies always highlight areas to work on but the encouraging factor from the touchline was the defensive effort which was determined and well organised from the outset.