It was a week-end of fluctuating fortunes for Ballinasloe teams as the Christmas season approaches.

Fresh from their big win over Galweigans a week ago, as well as pulling off their third league win in a row, the first team came a cropper on Sunday when succumbing to Corinthians at Corinthian Park on the scoreline of 10pts to 8. Oh, how that sporting pendulum can swing and all in a week’s turning. They would have travelled west in buoyant mood with their form on an upward curve following recent performances and yet surprisingly came unstuck when a win was on the cards. Such outcomes are usually buried in what is referred to as the vagaries of sport.

Ballinasloe opened in sprightly fashion and showed early intent when attacking the Corinthian line in the initial exchanges. Nothing came of their play and Corinthians were happy to clear their lines and kick their way into the visitors half where they played much of the opening period. They deservedly went ahead midway through with the opening try of the game. The locals were being allowed to dictate the pace and shape of the game though Keelan O’Neill pulled a penalty back for the visitors before the break. At  5-3 down Ballinasloe would still have seen a win on the horizon but a more concerted effort was required.

The second half did not bring any appreciable difference to the visitors approach or strategy. Jamie Kelly kept plugging away at the base of the scrum and Kealan Headd and Tommy Dolan tried to get things driving forward in the pack but any serious intent was just not there. The Corinthians’ back three dealt with any bombs that were put up or balls over the top, it was one of those days. The locals increased their lead after fifty seven minutes with their second try of the afternoon and could have put the game to bed shortly afterwards had they landed a penalty kick at goals.

The game was now being played around the half way line with the visitor still seeking a change of fortune. Mark Harrigan did bring some fresh impetus to the visitors pack when he came in off the bench and carried some serious ball over the gain line and when John Hayes arrived late to the fray there were still possibilities for Ballinasloe. The same Hayes made his presence felt in the closing stages with a rollicking run that saw him get over in the corner for a try. Suddenly, an unlikely draw was briefly on the offing but a difficult conversion kick was off target and Ballinasloe had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point on this occasion.

Ballinasloe’s second XV were also in league action on Sunday where they went down by 20pts to 6 at home to Portumna. The visitors led 10-6 at half time with Richie Sheppard nailing two penalties for the home side. Despite the loss the local management team of Danny Maguire (manager) and Der Tierney(snr)  (coach) were reasonably satisfied with the performance considering that it was only their second outing of the season to date. However, they will be expecting a more positive outcome next week against Oughterard.

The club’s U18s had an impressive 19-7 home league win over high riding Connemara to remain in touch for a top four league placing. The U17s and U16s incurred losses to Galweigans and Corinthians respectively while the U13 team pulled off a merited win away to Ballina. Meanwhile, the mini fraternity were in full action at the club on Saturday morning in a series of blitzs against visiting Gort.                                                                                                                                        LIAM COURTNEY, Club PRO

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