Ballinasloe 10     Dunmore 0

Ballinasloe and Dunmore agreed to play this one off “winner takes all” match, with Tuam chosen as the neutral venue, after both clubs came out of the hat in both the Cawley Cup and Connacht Junior Plate draws. Played in bitterly cold conditions on Sunday and with a difficult cross field wind that made it difficult for both kickers and throwers alike, this was never going to be a free flowing contest. It was tough and physical but fair throughout.

Ballinasloe found it hard to get into their stride and many unforced errors did not help their cause. However, they have been learning well as the season has progressed and did not panic. They eventually made the breakthrough mid way through the opening half when winger, Cian Loughrey, made his way over for a try that turned out to be the only score before the break.

Dunmore were proving to be dogged opponents but could not make an impact on the scoreboard. Ballinasloe got their second try shortly after the resumption when David Freeman finished off a good movement by the backs with the conversion being missed. They finished strongly, soaking up all that Dunmore could throw at them and ran out deserving winners at the finish.

Ballinasloe are now through to their second Plate final in a row where Ballina await.This fixture takes place next Sunday as a curtain raiser to the Junior Cup final at the Sportsground.                    Ballinasloe: M.Tierney, Cian Loughrey, C.Johnston, D.Freeman, R.Doolan, K.O’Neill, Conor Loughrey, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt), T.Dolan, H.Reynolds, N.Staunton, R.Wakefield, A.Loughrey, A.Doorley. Replacements: (all used) K.Gavin, A.Wade, M.Harrigan, D.Fenton, R.Ahern.

                                              Monivea 10     Ballinasloe 26

Ballinasloe U17s travelled to Monivea on Saturday for their final league game and returned home with a well deserved win. The locals started strongly and with a big pack looked the more likely side to advance. However, the visitors adapted their tactics and played a more open and expansive game which the locals found  difficult to manage. In the end they were full value for their 16point win. They will now meet either Ballinrobe or Connemara in the semi final.                                                     Scorers for Ballinasloe: Niall Higgins(2 tries), Sean Horan(2 tries and 3 conversions).

                                                Ballinasloe 22     Corinthians 7

Ballinasloe U15s qualified for the Connach U15 Cup final with this well structured win over a strong Corinthian side at home on Sunday.

Playing with a strong breeze that came from somewhere near the North Pole the home side settled early and soon went ahead with a try from Mohammed Abdallah that was smartly converted by Brian Horkan. Corinthians tried to impose themselves on the game but came up against stout resistence from the locals. It was close to half time before Ballinasloe  struck again. Micheal O’Neill followed up his own kick ahead and determinedly fought off other chasers to touch down for a try.

The city side made a serious effort to get back into the game early in the second half and put a converted try on the board to show their intent. Ballinasloe calmly weathered the storm and worked their way out of their own twenty two to play the game in the visitors half. They scored their third try of the afternoon when Jeff Alofa made his way over with the conversion going astray in the breeze. The locals were now playing with confidence and made it tell with a fourth try after forty four minutes with Billy McKenna scoring on this occasion. There was now no way back for the visitors and Ballinasloe played out the final minutes well on top.

                                                  Buccaneers 5     Ballinasloe 5

This U14 Cup semi final ended in stalemate after a hard fought clash at Athlone on Sunday morning. The locals would have fancied their chances on home territory but this Ballinasloe team can be a tough nut to crack and put in a big performance to bring this fixture to a reply. The sides were level at 5pts apiece at the interval with Sean Bleahan scoring Ballinasloe’s try. The replay is likely to be fixed for Sunday next.

Liam Courtney, Club PRO.

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