At Blaris last Saturday, an understrength Lisburn side went out of the Junior Cup in a second round 15-63 defeat to Instonians, the current cup holders and reigning Qualifying League Division One champions.
The Smiley Monroe Lisburn side were without their two normal second rows and also their two first choice centres. They were well beaten by the excellent visiting outfit who the previous week had beaten Qualifying League One leaders Bangor.
Nevertheless, the home side put up a brave display and indeed were leading 10-8 after 25 minutes thanks to a Simon Gilmore try plus a conversion and a great 40 metre penalty goal by outhalf Chris Knox.
However, this was as good as it got and Instonians went into the lead with a try and conversion by their outstanding outhalf Fraser Wright.
The Inst No 7, Matt Dawson, then proceeded to break Lisburn’s hearts with his opportunism and keen anticipation.
Firstly he broke through with ball in hand, chipped ahead and followed up to take a kind bounce and score in the corner. A touchline conversion made it 10-22.
Lisburn came back with another score only to concede another one to Inst to leave the half-time score 15-27 to the visitors.
Within five minutes of the restart, it was that man Dawson again who ran onto a loose ball and brought it up to the line to score.
Instonians then really cut loose and despite gallant defiance from their pack, Lisburn were overwhelmed by their free flowing visitors, led most prominently by their open side flanker Dawson who was a real thorn in their flesh for the whole game.
The last ten minutes saw Lisburn leak four tries, two of which were converted, and the final score of 15-63 was something for Lisburn to seriously mull over as they prepare to face Larne - one of the main pace setters in the league - also at home next Saturday.
However, they will be comforted by the fact that a considerable number of key players will return from injury for this key game and a tremendous contest is in prospect.
Meanwhile, the Second XV, who had a facile win over Dungannon Threes last week, have a free date this Saturday while the Third XV, who beat Grosvenor Thirds comfortably in midweek, host Monaghan Twos at home with a 1.30pm kick-off.