The Heineken Junior Plate kicked off amid swirling wind at the sportsground, Dunmore having the privilege of playing into the stiff breeze for the first half. With both teams happy to play with ball in hand the first opportunity came ten minutes in when Ballinrobe’s #8 Jack Winters picked off the base of a scrum and offloaded to Conor Varley who was sheparded into touch by Dunmore’s Jamie Murphy just yards from the Dunmore tryline. Dunmore, struggling to get out of their own half, conceded a penalty and with 25 minutes gone Ballinrobe’s outhalf, Stephen Conroy, kicked the first points of the match for the Mayo side. Dunmore sparked into life on the half hour mark when centre Damien Kelleher crashed through the Ballinrobe defence to score under the post, adding the conversion himself to give Dunmore a 7-3 lead. Ballinrobe struck right back and were very unlucky not to score, judged to have knocked on over the line. They kept the pressure on for the remainder of the half but couldn’t convert it to points.
Ballinrobe continued their ascendancy when the game restarted, piling pressure on the Dunmore goal-line with a driving maul only to be held up over the line and four phases later Dunmore forced a knock-on and were able to clear their lines. Dunmore found their stride ten minutes into the second half and some great kicks, supplemented by the strong wind, kept Ballinrobe pinned in their own 22 but they weren’t to be contained for too long and an excellent linebreak took play back into the Dunmore 22 and after a dominant scrum and an attacking penalty Ballinrobe finally crossed the Dunmore line, replacement Sean Mullin crashing over from short range. Outhalf Conroy couldn’t add the extras but Ballinrobe were in the lead by a point with just over ten minutes left. Ballinrobe kept the pressure on, a monstrous driving maul pummelled Dunmore back 20 metres and earned them a five yard penalty. Four phases later centre Tom Staunton crashed through the Dunmore line for well earned try, Conroys conversion pushing Ballinrobe into a 15-7 lead with less than ten minutes left to play. Dunmore struck back with a try from John Noone and Damien Kelleher’s conversion brought the game back to a one score match. Kelleher had the opportunity to win the match for Dunmore with the last kick of the game but his penalty attempt drifted left of the posts and Ballinrobe were crowned Heineken Junior Plate champions 2016, the final score in the Sportsground Dunmore 14-15 Ballinrobe.
Ballinrobe:
James McHugh, Christopher McHugh, Kevin Staunton, Anthony Coleman, Patrick Mylotte, David Madden, Conor Varley, Jack Winters, Jack O’Toole, Stephen Conroy, John Mannion, Michael Walsh, Tom Staunton, Thomas Lynagh, Robert Holian. Replacements: Damien Burke, Martin Joyce, David Reilly, Eoghan Lynagh, Sean Mullin.
Dunmore:
Paddy Costello, Jamie Gearghty, Stephen O’Toole, Anthony Glennon, Brendan Walsh, Eugene Stritch, Andrew Doherty, Brendan Burns, Colin Lyons, Jamie Coen, John Noone, Damien Kelleher, Dara Walsh Jamie Murphy, David Finnegan Replacements: Martin Donnellan, Nigel Silke, Mark Coen, Declan Rattigan, Martin Walsh.

 

Ballinrobe’s Patrick Mylotte sets up an attack during the Connacht junior plate at the Sportsground in Galway. Pic Conor McKeown

Ballinrobe’s Patrick Mylotte sets up an attack during the Connacht junior plate at the Sportsground in Galway. Pic Conor McKeown

Ballinrobe’s manager Seamus O’Toole celebrates with his son Jack after their win in Connacht junior plate at the Sportsground in Galway. Pic Conor McKeown

Ballinrobe’s manager Seamus O’Toole celebrates with his son Jack after their win in Connacht junior plate at the Sportsground in Galway.
Pic Conor McKeown

Ballinrobe RFC celebrating their Junior Plate win over Dunmore at the sportsground on sunday last. Pic Conor McKeown

Ballinrobe RFC celebrating their Junior Plate win over Dunmore at the sportsground on sunday last.
Pic Conor McKeown

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