BALLINASLOE 31———8 GALWEIGANS

Such was the satisfaction and glee amongst the Ballinasloe players and their supporters at the conclusion of this league fixture at Graigueawoneen on Sunday that one felt compelled to paraphrase the old Greek philosopher: ‘ when matters go awry  I do not wish to be present but when life blossoms I want to be in the vanguard’. The local contingent justtifably wanted to be in the vanguard of this success and the atmosphere in the clubhouse afterwards was full of bon homie and with good reason. They had just witnessed their favourites give their best forty minute display of the season to date and perhaps even for a longer period as they totally blitzed a beleagured Galweigans side in the second half.

A twenty three point win and five try haul against Galweigans does not come Ballinasloe’s way too often and so the players deserved all the plaudits they got for this performance.

There was little evidence of what was to come in the early exchanges of this game. Indeed, Galweigans were the more composed side early on and looked threatening with ball in hand. Ballinasloe were steady rather than adventurous at this stage before going ahead in the twenty second minute. In fairly typical Ballinasloe fashion, their pack drove fom their take at a close in lineout in the right hand corner and J.J.Carey was helped over for a try as Keelan O’Neill landed a not too easy conversion.

Then ‘Weigans showed what they could do given the slightest opening. First Shane Madden cheekily slipped between two Ballinasloe players in mid-field to set up a sweet passing movement that saw the sturdy David Symes finish off the phase with a try that went unconverted. They went ahead in the thirty second minute through a well struck Aidan Moynihan penalty. Little did we know then but the visitors were about to say good bye to the game at this stage. They would not trouble the locals again.

A Conal Gormley, Conor Johnston inter-change ended with the ball being knocked on just short of the visitors line before Carey captured his second try in what was almost a carbon copy production of his first effort except it was in the opposite corner while O’Neill was again unerring with his conversion. 14pts to 8 for the home side at the interval and it looked as if this game would go down to the wire.

No one could have expected the transformation in the second period. It was all one way traffic as the locals took control of proceedings. A blistering run by John Hayes through the centre was the catalyst for a huge driving maul fom the 22metre line to the posts with Robbie Wakefield scoring the try and O’Neill obliging with the conversion. Another Hayes break and with Tommy Dolan and Carey to the fore yet another powerful Ballinasloe maul made its way to the try line and as the ball was flashed out Darragh Burke made it over in the corner for try number four and the bonus point was secured. The conversion was missed on this occasion. Fifty five minutes on the clock and the locals were leading 26-8.

The game was now turning into a rout as the Ballinasloe pack were dominating all facets of forward play and ‘Weigans had imploded. They were still not finished and in the gathering gloom  John Hayes bagged a try for himself in the seventy second minute. The energy had been sucked from Galweigans and their will was weak. They had seen little action outside their own half during the second period and the final whistle was a welcome relief. As dusk descended over Graigueawoneen the lights were coming on for Ballinasloe.

After the game Ballinasloe head coach, Noel Mannio, had this to say: ” Before the game Kevin (Tierney ) and myself thought a big performance and a bit of luck would get us through today but we never expected this outcome. In fairness Galweigans are better than they performed today but we are delighted with this win and the lads deserved it after all their hard work so far. We are not near winning any trophies yet but at least we think that we are on the right track. Today’s result will be a huge morale booster for the squad and great for the dressingroom”     BALLINASLOE: A.Mannion, C.Gormley, C.Johnston, R.Cullinan, D.Burke, K.O’Neill, J.Kelly, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara, T.Dolan, N.Staunton, K.Headd(capt), R.Wakefield, J.Hayes, A.Loughrey. Replacements: G.Donnellan, D.Freeman, H.Reynolds, M.Harrigan, R.Sheppard.

UNDER-AGE RESULTS.

A well drilled Ballinasloe U18 outfit defeated Creggs away, in the league, on Friday evening. The U17s overcame Tuam in an away league match on Sunday morning by 35pts to nil. The strong home side had no answer to the hard tackling visitors and despite ample posession never looked like scoring. Scorers for Ballinaslore were; M.O’Neill (4 tries ), E.Galvin ( 1 try ) while B.Horkan weighed in with 1 drop goal, 1 penalty and 2 conversions. The U14s defeated Ballina away by 27pts to nil in their league clash.                                                                                                LIAM COURTNEY, PRO BALLINASLOE RFC

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