BALLINASLOE 29   BUCCANEERS 0

Ballinasloe produced a very impressive performance when overcoming local rivals, Buccaneers, in this Connacht Plate fixture at Graigueawoneen on Saturday night.

The visitors, who may have been short a few regulars, were no match for a lively and well drilled home side who dominated all facets of play throughout.

While stiffer tests lie ahead, this latest win will maintain the steady momentum that has been building since the new year. They have now won four of their five outings in 2013.

Ballinasloe’s positive approach was evident from an early stage with the visitors being forced into a rearguard action almost from kick off. Kealan O’Neill was wide with a penalty chance in the eleventh minute but made amends shortly afterwards, landing a kick from thirty five metres.

A strong break by Conor Loughrey from his own twenty two into the opposition half was the lead up to the opening try when Robbie Wakefield peeled away from a powerful twenty metre maul to touch down after twenty eight minutes with O’Neill adding the conversion.

Minutes later and the hosts were striking again. Conor Johnston charged up the centre before setting up good ruck ball and another huge maul had Buccs in all sorts of bother as the Ballinasloe juggernaut drove for their line. This time it was prop forward J.J. Carey who peeled away and he gave a fair old impression of a swallow dive as he scored try number two. The conversion was missed. There were no further scores before the interval.

The second half was mainly one way traffic as the home side piled on the pressure. Niall Staunton was on hand to take an off load and stroll over for the third try of the night in the fifty fifth minute with O’Neill adding the extras.

The scoring wasn’t finished yet and as the game entered the closing stages John Hayes turned over ball inside his own half. Two foot rushes and two rucks later saw Alan Wade dive over for the fourth try with O’Neill calmly tapping over the conversion for a comfortable win.

Ballinasloe team: M.Tierney, R.Ahern, D.Freeman, C.Johnston, M.Gibbons, K.O’Neill, C.Loughrey, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt), T.Dolan, H.Reynolds, N.Staunton, R.Wakefield, J.Hayes, A.Doorley. Replacements: (all used) K.Gavin, K.Dolan, A.Wade, M.Harrigan, B.Brophy.                                             Referee: Tom Horkan(Connacht Branch).

Ballinasloe second xv was also in action at the week-end when they made the journey to Oughterard to engage the locals in a league fixture before going down by 22pts to 8. A slow start from the visitors did not help their cause and a well struck penalty by Eoghan Clogher was all that they had to show for their first half endeavours as they trailed 19pts to 3 at the break.

The second half was a horse of a different colour, dominated for long stretches by Ballinasloe. They laid siege to the hosts line midway through the second period and forced five scrums in succession. The locals were most fortunate to hold out during this onslaught. A Tomas Freeman try at least improved the scoreboard for Ballinasloe      if not effecting the outcome.

Ballinasloe team: B.Brophy, K.Galvin, N.Kelly(capt), P.Larkin, M.Coughlan, A.Wiley, N.Gibbons, G.Donnellan, A.Moloney, D.Maguire, E.Clogher, P.McCormack, W.Sharpe, D.Tierney, T.Freeman. Replacements: (all used) V.Naughton, J.Brooks, P.Rock, R.McCarthy.




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