Eight-try Ballymena trounce Buccs

Ballymena 55 Buccaneers 5

Ballymena 55 Buccaneers 5

Ballymena rounded out Steph Nel’s first season in charge with an explosive 55-5 home trouncing of Buccaneers at Eaton Park as Namibian import Dirkie Strydom bagged a try hat-trick.

Wednesday's 18-13 loss cruelly robbed the Braidmen of a shot at catching fourth-placed Clontarf on Division One's final afternoon, but they dismissed their woes to run in an excellent haul of eight tries.

They scored three in the first half through William McAllister, Strydom and Ireland Sevens star Michael McComish, with fly-half Adam Larkin - fresh from his five-minute outing as a late Ulster replacement at Ravenhill last night - converting twice and adding a penalty for a 22-5 half-time lead.

Trevor Richardson's sole try for Pirates was their only highlight on a drab afternoon up north.

It got worst on the restart as impressive Ireland Under-21 centre Andrew Trimble ran clean through for Ballymena's bonus point score.

The middle brother of the Humphreys clan, Marshall then got in on the scoring act and even with centre Jamie McGrugan in the sin-bin for killing the ball, Nel's lot managed to touch down twice.

Prop Norman McKernan bulldozed over in the final quarter. Strydom bagged his second and third tries in the final ten minutes as Buccs' efforts petered out and Ballymena looked forward to next season's challenge.

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