10.02.14

                                              LATE TRIES END BALLINASLOE CHALLENGE.

                                                 BALLINASLOE   12—–GALWEGIANS   24

Ballinasloe’s interest in this season’s Heineken Connacht Junior Cup came to a disappointing end at Moher on Sunday when they went down by 24pts to 12 to old foes Galweigans. Few in attendance would dispute that ‘Weigans deserved their win on the day but it was a much closer affair than the score line suggests.

This was a good honest to god, old fashioned cup tie where both sides put in a hard day at the office to produce an entertaining contest  that was played on a very heavy surface. The anticipated ding dong battle materialised and the sides were on level terms with less than ten minutes remaining.

Galweigans made the more impressive start, dominating for the opening quarter while the locals struggled to get up to the pace of the game. They clearly lacked match sharpness, having spent the last two week-ends in dry dock. Despite their early dominance the visitors created few scoring chances and slowly but surely the locals worked their way into the game and their confidence began to build. As they went on the offensive they began to use the rolling maul to telling effect and it was from this facet of play that they took the lead in the thirty sixth minute with the opening half’s only score when the pack mauled their way in for a try with Aidan Doorley  taking the scoring honours. Ruaidhri Doolan was unfortunate to see his well struck conversion kick come back off the upright. ‘ Wegians, who had taken to infringing at ruck time and killing the ball more than once, eventually incurred the wrath of the man in the middle and their no.13 was flashed the yellow card just before the break.

The visitors started the second period  just like they had the first and their early drives saw them level the scores when Jack Dineen made it over with the conversion  kicked wide. Ballinasloe responded as they know best, working through their pack and forcing the visitors to defend inside their 22. They were fortunate to keep their line in tact at this stage and on one occasion the locals were over but just couldn’t ground the ball.

When the hosts went ahead in the 57th minute it had a stroke of good fortune about it. Cian Loughrey put up a speculative kick that had the ‘Wegians backs in all sorts of bother behind their own line. The spilled ball was bobbling about and James Dillon smartly followed up to touch down and when Doolan added the conversion Ballinasloe had some breathing space again.

As Galwegians went chasing the game they also got the rub of the green when a weak kick to touch fell short into no man’s land and Eoin O’Mahony was the recipient of a favourable bounce as he ran in for a try that was converted by Conor Lowndes; 12-12 and ten minutes left to play. With the spectre of extra time on the horizon and with the locals tiring visibly (their cancelled games were coming back to haunt them) Galwegians went for the kill. When Conor Kyne drove from a ruck inside the Ballinasloe 22 he paved the way for O’Mahony to score his second try in the seventy fifth minute with the conversion being missed. There was no way back for Ballinasloe as the final minutes ticked away. A last minute try from Dineen converted by Lowndes embellished the score line for Galweigans and rubbed salt into a brave and battling Ballinasloe performance.

BALLIINASLOE: Conor Loughrey, Cian Loughrey, J.Dillon, R.Cullinan, C.Gormley, R.Doolan, J.Kelly, J.J.Carey, A.O’Hara,(capt), T.Dolan, N.Staunton, K.Headd, R.Wakefield, J.Hayes, A.Doorley. Replacements: A.Wade, M.Harrigan, H.Reynolds, M.Tierney, D.Freeman.

                                          TUAM  12—————–22  BALLINASLOE

Ballinasloe produced a convincing display when overcoming a plucky Tuam side in the first round of the U14 Cup at Tuam on Sunday. Scorers for Ballinasloe: N.Horan 2tries, 2convs, 1pen; O.Carrig 1try.

                                          GALWEGIANS  29——–12  BALLINASLOE

Ballinasloe made their exit from the U17 league at this semi-final stage when going down to Galwegians, away, on Sunday. Despite the score line they put in a battling performance and led by 12pts to 8 at the interval thanks to two Hubert D’Arcy tries and a Brian Horkan conversion. Playing into a wind that increased noticeably as the second half progressed, Ballinasloe were still in the game into the closing stages but a late flurry of scores saw the locals through.

The girls U15s continued on their winning ways when defeating Ballina with a bit to spare, in their Cup game, in Ballina on Saturday. They face Creggs in the semi-final at the week-end.

Ballinasloe’s Development Squad fixture with Castlebar and the U15s cup tie with Ballyhaunis were the victims of unplayable pitches.

Ballinasloe’s first xv have a very important Junior 1A league game at home to Corinthians on Sunday next. Kick off is at 2.30pm                                                                                                                                     LIAM Courtney, Club PRO.

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