Ballinasloe 13—0 Ballyhaunis.Ballinasloe deservedly took the league points on offer at Moher on Saturday night when they overcame a strong Ballyhaunis side. In spite of a soggy pitch and greasy ball, both sides served up an entertaining game of rugby. Full marks to them for their willingness to run the ball in such heavy conditions and often to telling effect.Ballyhaunis started the livelier and an early break by their winger, David Morley, brought play well into the Ballinasloe half. Much of the opening phase took place here with the visitors dominating possession if not making headway on the scoreboard. Gabriel Gallagher was off target with a penalty for them after five minutes. The action was over fifteen minutes old before Ballinasloe made any worthwhile incursion into the visitor’s half but when they did they made it pay handsomely. They took a lineout twenty five metres from the Mayo side’s line and their ensuing maul made a lot of ground before being held up. When the ball came back on the Ballinasloe side the backs ran it and when Joe Dunne made the vital break in mid-field he set up Alan Naughton for try no.one after 20 minutes. The conversion was missed. Ballinasloe were now dictating play and seven minutes later came try no. two when a quick ball along the backs saw centre, Lorcan Feerick, go over with the conversion coming back off the upright. There was no further score in the opening period. Ballinasloe continued to lead the way early in the second period and full back, Mike Colohan,  landed a penalty after 55 minutes. It was now the visitor’s turn to set the pace and did so in determined fashion. They made a few drives at the opposition line  but lacked the composure to get over for a try to make a real fight of it. A sprint for a ball that was over the Ballinasloe line between their mobile prop, Gareth Delaney, and retreating Ballinasloe backs was the nearest they came to scoring. Some of their decision making did not help their cause either. In the end the more decisive back play from  Ballinasloe was perhaps the main difference between the sides on the night.

Ballinasloe: M.Colohan, A.Naughton, L.Feerick, J.Dunne, I.Loughrey, G.Hogan, S.Daly, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt.), T.Dolan, K.Dolan, H.Reynolds, A.Wade, M.Harrigan, A.Doorley. Replacements:A.Moloney, K.Hogarty, M.Gibbons, R.Shepherd (for L.Feerick 70mins.). Both sides lock horns, again, next  Sunday at the same venue when they meet, this time in the Cawley Cup; kick off 2.30 pm. On the evidence of Saturday night’s action this has all the makings of a real tight battle with both sides feeling, with some justification, that they can make it through to the next round. In the U16 league an understrength Ballinasloe team gave a battling display to draw  5pts. all with Corinthians at Ballinasloe on Saturday. A fine try by Cian Dooley helped the home side share the spoils.
LIAM COURTNEY,
PRO BALLINASLOE RFC

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