Ballinasloe Rugby News.     
Ballinasloe  12   9  Loughrea.

Ballinasloe maintained their 100% record in the Junior 1B league with this hard earned win over Loughrea at Graigueawoneen on Sunday. There was very little to choose between two evenly balanced sides and Ballinasloe had, to use the cliché, dig deep to pull this one off. It was a game dominated by the boot rather than any fluid rugby but an entertaining encounter nevertheless.

Ballinasloe took the lead as early as the fifth minute when Robert O’Beirn kicked a penalty following a good break by Darragh Burke. Loughrea levelled matters in the fifteenth minute thanks to a Mike Martin penalty. Both players exchanged penalties mid way through the half before the visitors had a forward red carded two minutes before the interval for killing the ball as Ballinasloe attacked close to their opponents line. O’Beirn knocked over the ensuing penalty to have his side 3pts ahead at the break.

Both sides had their moments in the second half without ever setting the game a light. They battled it out up front with a lot of grunt and effort but with neither side seriously threatening the try lines. O’Beirn was wide with a penalty after fifty seven minutes before making amends minutes later with a kick to put six points between the sides. Martin reduced the deficit shortly afterwards with his third penalty to keep the game in the melting pot. With just under ten minutes remaining Ballinasloe no.8, Mark Harrigan, was shown the yellow card for a high tackle but Martin pulled his penalty kick to the left of the post and wth it went Loughrea’s chances of taking anything more tangible from the game than a losing bonus point.

BALLINASLOE: D.Burke, M.Gibbons, L.Feerick, J.Dunne, C.Brophy, R.O’Beirn, R.Shepherd, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt.), T.Dolan, N.Staunton, D.Fenton,  H.Reynolds(A.Doorly  69mins), M.Harrigan, R.Wakefield. Replacements: E.Courtney, A.Wade, A.Doorly, J.Kelly, S.Hyde. Referee: Dave Connolly.
Elsewhere over the week-end Ballinasloe U17s had a runaway win over Connemara in their league at Ballinasloe on Saturday evening. This match was a personal triumph for Ballinasloe back, Eoin McCormack, who ran in four tries on the night. The club’s U14s had a fine victory over Galweigans in the league at home on Sunday morning winning by 10pts to 5.
LIAM COURTNEY, PRO BALLINASLOE RFC.

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