09.12.13  Ballinasloe RFC Report

BALLINASLOE  18    BALLINA  10

Ballinasloe bounced back from last weeks disappointing defeat with a hard earned but deserved 18 points to 10 win over Ballina on Sunday. After a weeks reflection on their loss to OLBC they took the opportunity to show something like their true form. Ballina were in town and the challenge was a big one but a smarting Ballinasloe side met it full on.

The locals showed an early eagerness for action and did not take long to get the scoreboard ticking. Ten minutes in and they were in front. They won their own lineout inside the 22 and mauled their way over for the first try of the day with the congratulations going to flanker Aidan Doorley. The conversion was not added.

However, this lead was short-lived as Ballina went in for a try of their own five minutes later. The hosts were caught napping when out half, Jese Pitman, spotted a gap in the Ballinasloe defence to break through  from his own half and touchdown underneath the sticks before adding the conversion. But they were handicapped in the 19th minute when they had a player sin binned for a high tackle.

Ballinasloe tried to make the most of their numerical superiority but by forcing the pace of the game errors abounded. Their opponents turned over too much Ballinasloe ball and their passing was not all it should have been at times but at least they remained on the front foot, keeping the pressure on the Mayo side. They were rewarded in the 30th minute when Ruaidhri Doolan landed a thirty five metre penalty after Ballina were penalised for killing the ball. Ballinasloe continued to press forward but some disjointed attacking drives met by solid defending meant that there was no further score before the interval where the locals brought an 8-7 lead into the huddle.

The visitors had the benefit of a freshening breeze for the second period and yet while their hosts had more of the ball. After the turnover, they regained the lead when Pitman landed a penalty from half way in the fifty third minute. Both sides missed kicks at goal with the game still in the melting pot. With John Hayes coming more into the game Ballinasloe had try chances from play close to the visitor’s line but got no purchase for their efforts. A Doolan penalty approaching the 70th minute edged them back in front before Ballina came perilously close to crossing for what would have been a killer score for the home side. They attacked up the left wing and when Pitman came charging through a try looked odds on in the corner but a double tackle by the vigilant Doorley and full back, Daragh Burke, put paid to his plans. When Ballinasloe won a vital scrum, minutes later, deep in their own danger area and cleared to safety it was probably the turning point in the game. They played their way back into the Ballina twenty two in search of that insurance try and it duly arrived.

The closing minutes were tense ones with the visitors having two players yellow carded for technicalities rather than any dangerous play. A big drive by Ballinasloe following their re-set scrum had the visitors in all sorts of bother and while smartly controlling the ball they forced Ballina to retreat over their own line allowing John Hayes to take the try which Doolan coolly converted. Ballinasloe were back on the winner’s rostrum and last week’s aberration was a distant memory.    

BALLINASLOE: D.Burke, C.Gormly, R.Cullinan, D.Freeman, Cian Loughrey, R.Doolan, J.Kelly, K.Gavin, A.O’Hara(capt), T.Dolan, N.Staunton, K.Headd, R.Wakefield, J.Hayes, A.Doorley.

Replacements: J.J.Carey, M.Harrigan, H.Reynolds, M.Tierney, J.Dillon.

Under Age Results:

U17s     Ballinasloe A  16  v  Creggs  26  

U14s     Ballinasloe      19  v  Galwegians  19

U13s     Ballinasloe      37  v  Sligo  0

Ballinasloe U13s remain undefeated following this big win over Sligo. Despite the score line, Ballinasloe did not have it all their own way and the bigger Sligo forwards caused them some problems. However, their backs were in fine form and some slick movements helped them score seven tries during the game while also adding a conversion.

Liam Courtney, Club PRO.

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