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Galwegians Bounce Back With League Win

Galwegians Bounce Back With League Win

Ballymena suffered their fourth successive AIB League defeat as they went down to Galwegians at Eaton Park on Saturday afternoon.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, December 5


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Scorers: Ballymena: Try: Andrew Kerr; Con: David O’Hara; Pens: David O’Hara 2
Galwegians: Tries: Ati Olive, Liam Scahill; Pen: Rob O’Beirne; Drop: Tiernan O’Halloran

Galwegians, who exited the AIB Cup last Sunday, set the tone for this win with a fifth minute try from powerful number 8 Ati Olive after some concerted pressure from the forwards.

But a break from Ireland Under-19 international Luke Marshall teed up Ballymena’s only try of this action-packed encounter.

Flanker Andrew Kerr brushed off the tackles to get the touchdown, with scrum half David O’Hara’s successful conversion putting the Braidmen in front.

O’Hara added a penalty on the half hour for a 10-5 scoreline and although he added another before the break, ‘Wegians blasted back to level the tie on the stroke of half-time.

Lock Liam Scahill stormed through for an unconverted try and winger Tiernan O’Halloran, Marshall’s international colleague, landed an injury-time drop goal, squaring it up at 13-13.

In a ding dong second half, ‘Wegians’ superior defence frustrated the life out of Ballymena.

Midway through the half, the match-winning score arrived from a penalty from replacement centre Rob O’Beirne.

Although Marshall, Bob Young, captain Sam McKinney and full-back Jamie Smith tried desperately to engineer a response from the hosts, the scoreboard remained the same until full-time.

Best on the day for the Galway men were the Muldoons, Conor and Ivan, the hard-hitting Olive and John Cleary who covered and countered well at full-back.

BALLYMENA: Jamie Smith; Ricky Andrew, Kyle Moore, Steven Castle, Roger McBurney; Luke Marshall, David O’Hara; James Carson, Ryan Fisher, Simon Shawe, Bob Young, Darryl O’Kane, Andrew Kerr, Paul Pritchard, Sam McKinney (capt).

Replacements: James Taggart, Andrew Ferguson, Stephen Mulholland, Allan McCluggage.

GALWEGIANS: John Cleary; Barry Lee, Aifai Esera, David Clarke, Tiernan O’Halloran; Ross Shaughnessy, Kieran Campbell; Ja Naughton, Conor Muldoon, Jamie Stephens, Liam Scahill, Brian McClearn, Ambrose Conboy, Ivan Muldoon (capt), Ati Olive.

Replacements: Steve McGrath, Ross Fitzgerald, Derek Boyd, Ronan Dillon, Rob O’Beirne.

Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)