What a difference a week can make. Seven days ago Ballinasloe were trouncing Connemara 36pts to 12 in Div1A of the league while on Sunday they were the recipients of a thirty points beating by Galweigans at Graigueawoneen. Yet despite the disparity in the scoreline this was far from a one sided affair. In truth the visitors were fully deserving of their win. They were always threatening with ball in hand and when they upped the pace and intensity in the final quarter the home side were found wanting but the scoreboard did not do justice to the locals’ earlier efforts.
Indeed it was the hosts who opened the scoring after five minutes when full back, Eoin McCormick, landed a long distance penalty that went over with the help of the upright. As Ballinasloe tried to build pressure through their pack, Galweigans lost a player to the sin bin for a hands in the ruck offence.
The City side moved ahead in the 20th minute when a cross field lob was not dealt with by the hosts backs and John Cleary pounced for a try that went unconverted. That injury jinx again hit the locals as first McCormick and shortly afterwards his replacement, Darragh Burke, had to depart the scene with knocks. As the half progressed the Ballinasloe pack worked hard at trying to form some sort of a platform to launch attacks from but their general play was sloppy. Credit to them for beavering away and keeping Galweigans within their sights but spilled passes, unforced errors and some kicks to touch going out on the full marred their best intentions.
As Ballinasloe attacked on the visitors twenty two, a long flat pass was easily intercepted by Cleary who scampered away to touch down for try number two which he also converted to leave the visitors 12-3 in front as half time approached. The locals again took up the running and forced the winners back to defend their line but they lost control of the ball as a threatening maul was just short of the try line and with it went a good try scoring opportunity.
The hosts started the second half with renewed determination, dominating territory, and when John Hayes touched down following a big drive by the pack for a deserved try that was converted by Ross Keller it was game on once more. They battled on gamely but created few real scoring chances.
With the game moving inside the final quarter Galweigans got the bit between their teeth. They moved the ball wide with some crisp passing and found gaps in the home side’s defence. Cleary completed his hat trick of tries with a conversion and with the locals wilting there were further tries for Alan McMahon (two) and David Symes all converted by Cleary.
BALLINASLOE: E.McCormick, Conor Loughrey, K.O’Neill, R.Cullinan, S.Tierney, R.Keller, S.Horan, J.J.Carey, G.Donnellan, T.Dolan, N.Staunton, M.Harrigan, R.Wakefield, K.Headd (capt), J.Hayes. Replacements: D.Tierney, J.Curley, R.Hynes, C.Johston, D.Burke.
In under-age competitions Ballinasloe U15s were surprisingly beaten in their first league game at home to Buccaneers by 7pts to 5. They led 5-0 at half time thanks to a try by Naise Muldoon. The U13s had a comprehensive win over Buccs in their fixture.

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