18.02.14

BALLINASLOE COME UP SHORT

Ballinasloe will be disappointed that they did not take more than a losing bonus point from Sunday’s league confrontation at home to Corinthians. In a game where both sides had their moments, the locals will bemoan a game that got away from them while the visitors will wonder why they were not out of sight long before they had to scramble for a win at the finish.

Though Corinthians were business like from the off, it was Ballinasloe who made the more telling start and were 14pts ahead by the 25th minute. No.8 John Hayes added to his season’s tally with a 15th minute try and Ruaidhri Doolan added the conversion. They pressed on and through sheer graft doubled their score when the hard working Conal Gormley touched down for the second try after 24 minutes with Doolan again obliging with the placed ball.

Of course Corinthians are not league leaders for nothing and responded with a converted try of their own after 32 minutes. They followed up with another five pointer in the 38th minute to bring the score to 14-12.

Just as the hosts were anticipating the sanctuary of the interval to re-group and re-energise they were hit with a thunder punch when the city team scored their third try just as the half time bell was about to ring. Suddenly, from being 14pts clear fifteen minutes earlier they went for the half time brew 14-17 in arrears.

The buffeting did not stop for the hosts on the turnaround and Corinthians added another converted try in the 49th minute. At this stage the visitors threatened to take over and win as they pleased. They drove through the centre, they spread the ball to the wings but despite their dominance they could not crack a resolute Ballinasloe defence. As the half advanced and as the locals remained in the game they began to believe in themselves to put in a storming finish. Fresh legs from the bench were helpful with Andrew Mannion being introduced for his first team debut ( a young player who has come up through the club’s ranks ) and Stanley Hayes making a late impact. Corinthians were forced into a defensive mode in the closing stages as Ballinasloe pressure yielded a Tommy Dolan try and Doolan conversion to reduce the margin to three points. As the game moved into time added on the hosts went after a win that looked far from their grasp twenty minutes earlier. However, some frenetic play and unforced errors handicapped their late surge. It was a match that they could ultimately have won and yet were a tad fortunate to end up with a bonus point. It’s a funny old game!   

                                                                                                                                                         BALLINASLOE:  D.Burke, M.Tierney, C.Gormley, R.Cullinan, J.Dillon, R.Doolan, Conor Loughrey, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara(capt), T.Dolan,N.Staunton, K.Headd, A.Loughrey, J.Hayes, A.Doorley. Replacements:(all used) K.Gavin, S.Hayes, M.Harrigan, H.Reynolds,A.Mannion.

Liam Courtney, Club PRO

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