Ballinasloe RFC Report 18.03.13

                                                          BALLINROBE 7     BALLINASLOE 32

Ballinasloe duly picked up the play-off spot for possible promotion to Div1A when they convincingly overcame Ballinrobe at the Racecourse on Saturday evening.

Going into this game Ballinrobe’s goose had already been cooked as relegation was going to be their lot at the league’s end. Meanwhile, Ballinasloe needed a win to ensure a play-off game and they also retain an interest in both the Cawley Cup and the Connacht Junior Plate with games coming up against Dunmore. The difference in fortunes of the protagonists was clear to be seen in this clash.

Ballinrobe did make a bright start to the game and were off target with an early penalty but when the visitors got motoring scoring opportunities for the locals quickly evaporated.

Ballinasloe were first on the board when Kealan O’Neill sent them on their way with a 10th minute penalty.

Four minutes later and some good approach work by prop, J.J. Carey, set up David Freeman for the first try of the evening and when O’Neill added the conversion, the visitors were 10pts to the good.

At the end of the first quarter Rory Doolan was on hand to block down a defensive clearance and smartly followed up to touch down for a try that went unconverted. Four minutes later and he was in for his second try when finishing off a good passing movement as the conversion went astray.

Replacements for John Hayes(dead leg) and David Freeman(shoulder) did not upset Ballinasloe’s rhythm and Cian Loughrey dived over in the corner for their fourth try before the break with O’Neill landing a difficult conversion from the touchline.

Ballinasloe went in 27pts to nil in front at the break and really had all their eggs in the basket at this stage.

The second period was only ever going to be about running down the clock as they scored their fifth try shortly after the turnover with Kevin Gavin doing the honours as the conversion was wide of the uprights.

Ballinrobe were determined to take the bare look off the scoreboard and as the pace dropped they began to get a foothold in the visitors half. They had a number of charges at the Ballinasloe line before Killian McHugh got in for a try with the conversion following on.                                               BALLINASLOE: M.Tierney, C.Loughrey, D.Freeman, C.Johnston. R.Doolan, K.O’Neill, C.Loughrey, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt), T.Dolan, N.Staunton, H.Reynolds, R.Wakefield, J.Hayes, A.Doorley. Replacements: (all used) K.Gavin, A.Wade, K.Dolan, A.Loughrey, R.Ahern.

                                                   BALLINROBE 14     BALLINASLOE 13

Ballinrobe came from behind to pip Ballinasloe by the narrowest of margins in this U19B league final at Creggs RFC  on Friday night. It turned out to be a very close and entertaining contest with the outcome in doubt right up to the final whistle. The fact that Ballinasloe had a large number of their players involved with Garbally College in the Connacht Schools Senior Cup Final only 48 hours earlier did not help their cause.

Ballinasloe went ahead after five minutes when ‘Robe were penalised for a ruck infringement and Sean Coughlan landed a well struck penalty from forty metres.

The Mayo side levelled with a similar score seven minutes later from the boot of Stephen Conroy and he put them into the lead with another penalty shortly afterwards.

Ballinasloe scored the first try of the night just before half time. Conor Barret made a strong break from deep along the left tramline before off loading to Stephen Tierney whose run brought play into Ballinrobe’s  22metre line. A number of scrums ensued before virtually the whole of the Ballinasloe team heaved their way over for a team try with Ian Duffy appearing to be the last player up with the ball. The conversion was missed but they went to the dressing rooms at the interval with an 8pts to 6 lead.

Ballinrobe made a determined start to the second half and missed with a kickable penalty early on and Ballinasloe were lucky that Conor Barret won a race to touch the ball down behind his own line as it bobbled about.

An ugly brawl broke out mid way through the half and a flurry of punches were exchanged between players from both sides before the referee lectured the rival captains. He saw fit to send off a Ballinasloe player while a Ballinrobe player was yellow carded. Indeed a few others could count themselves lucky that their interest in proceedings did not terminate right there and then.

When the dust settled Conroy put Ballinrobe back in front with a penalty.

Another strong run by Barret, who was giving a solid performance at full back, set up a shot at goal for Ian Duffy but the resultant kick was off target.

As the game moved inside the final 10 minutes the stronger Ballinasloe pack were asking serious questions of the Ballinrobe defence and subjected them to a number of scrums close to their line. Eventually the pressure paid off and flanker, Fergal Broderick, forced his way over for a try with the conversion kick going nowhere. Just as Ballinasloe thought that they might hang on for a win Killian McHugh grabbed a late,late try  for Ballinrobe for a one point victory and league honours.                      BALLINASLOE: C.Barret, E.Croffy, R.Doolan, I.Duffy, S.Tierney, S.Coughlan, R.McCarthy, N.Finneran, P.Gilson, D.O’Hara, P.Frehill, M.Fahy,  F.Broderick, J.Codyre, C.Dolphin(capt). Subs used C.Dooley and M.Kelly.

Well done to the mini Broncos from the club and their mentors who participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade through the town.                                                                                                                           Liam Courtney, Club PRO.


Energia All-Ireland League Round-Up: Buccaneers stay atop Division 1B, Sligo & Corinthians win