Lisburn recorded their third bonus point win on the trot by defeating a full strength Academy outfit 26-10 last Saturday.
As a result, they consolidated their seventh place position in Kukri Qualifying League Two, ahead of Grosvenor and Donaghadee.
Grosvenor still have one game to play, against Randalstown and can leapfrog Lisburn, while Donaghadee have two games left, against Randalstown and Academy, but would need two bonus point wins to draw level with Lisburn and earn a play off. Ballymoney have already been relegated.
Lisburn, without flu victims Andrew Cardosi and Andrew Weir and the unavailable David Gilkinson, started very tenuously but with skipper Tom Fraser returning from long term injury and Conor Guiney and Aaron Gilkinson stepping up, the hosts soon settled and began their assault at Blaris.
On the ten minute mark, Lisburn went into the lead following a line out on the 22 metre line. Academy tactically decided not to compete but big second row Jonny Davis got possession and strode right through the visitors’ ranks for a fine score.
Within minutes of the restart, Lisburn again got possession and mauled the ball forward in a tactic that proved very beneficial throughout the game. Captain Fraser used all his experience in guiding the pack through and then broke off to score. Scott Hughes added the extras to make it 12-0.
This setback rocked Academy into action and they started to use their pack to take the game to Lisburn. A strong set scrum on the five metre line saw Lisburn popping up and when this was repeated, the referee had no hesitation in going under the posts for a penalty try, much to Lisburn’s consternation.
Minutes later, Academy got a further three points after centre Jordan Heatley was penalised and found himself in the bin for ten minutes. The half time score of 12-10 to Lisburn had the game on a knife edge.
Lisburn came out in a determined fashion and with ten minutes remaining, Lisburn at last got the break through.
After six or seven minutes camped on the Academy line with maul after maul being stopped by stout defence, Lisburn at last got over following a clean break by flanker Andrew Barron. Hughes added the conversion to make it 19-10.
They now set about getting a bonus point fourth try and this came just before the final whistle. Centre Jake Bebbington, despite suffering earlier injuries, broke through a despairing tackle on the burst to plant the ball down. The sidelines erupted as once again winger Scott Hughes added the two points.
This vital win puts pressure on Donaghadee and Grosvenor and the team now await the outcome of the remaining fixtures by these clubs.