Ballinasloe’s U15s team had to come from behind in dramatic fashion to capture the Plate final against Connemara All Blacks at Corinthians club grounds on Monday.
Down by 17pts to nil and with less than 15mins left on the clock, they came back from the dead to record a truly remarkable win by 21pts to 17.

Played in damp and blustery conditions, Connemara were first to settle and, with the wind to their backs, ran up a 12pts to nil half time lead. Ballinasloe did have some
chances in that period but were held up just short of the try line on two occasions.

When the leaders added a try early in the second half it looked all up for Ballinasloe but to their credit they never threw in the towel. In keeping with the astute coaching
and practical management provided by their mentors, Eoghan Courtney and Der Tierney, throughout the season as well as being capably lead by Andy Mannion they
maintained a high level of discipline and held their shape even when the match seemed to be slipping away from them.

As the game moved inside the final 15mins Ballinasloe struck for their first try when Brian Shaughnessey received a pass fifty metres out and used his pace to get to the
tryline to ground the ball close to the post with Ian Duffy adding the conversion. Keeping their focus, Ballinasloe now smelt blood and minutes later their No 8, Jack Codyre, scored the first of his two tries, again converted by Duffy. Now only 3pts in arrears and with less than 5mins to go Codyre scored his second, in the corner, following good approach play by the forwards. Duffy landed a fine conversion kick from out on the touchline to secure a thrilling win after a great comeback. Make no
mistake about it, this was no flukey or fortunate victory but a win based on commitment and character with a never say die spirit that was a hallmark of their performances
throughout the campaign. It’s worth noting that only the previous Wednesday they traveled to Castlebar for an evening semi final against the locals.

The strong Ballinasloe following were in celebratory mood afterwards, ready to toast such an exciting win that was eventually achieved in great style but that had looked
to be beyond them for so long.
TEAM: A.Mannion(capt), C.Dooley, M.Kelly, C.Barrett, E.McCormack, I.Duffy, S.Tierney, P.Gilsen, S.Lyons, D.O’Hara, C.Twohig, P.Feehily, J.Parsons, J.Codyre,
J.Madden. Replacements: K.Flynn, J.Kilmartin(used), S.Holland, C.Donnellan(used), J.Harwood, B.Shaughnessey(used).

LIAM COURTNEY
PRO BALLINASLOE RFC

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