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O’Hara Helps Ballymena Get Back On Track

O’Hara Helps Ballymena Get Back On Track

Out-half David O’Hara was the star of the show as his 16-point contribution helped Ballymena seal a season’s double over UCC at a snowy Eaton Park on Saturday.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, January 30

BALLYMENA 19 UCC 10, Eaton Park

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Scorers: Ballymena: Try: David O’Hara; Con: David O’Hara; Pens: David O’Hara 3; Drop: Roger McBurney
UCC: Tries: Brian Dennehy, Brian Derham

In wintry conditions, the Braidmen staved off a second half comeback from the Cork students to follow up on their 31-28 victory at the Mardyke in October.

Out-half David O’Hara scrambled his way over for the game’s opening try from close range, despite the best efforts of UCC’s John Ryan and Sean Scanlon.

He added the conversion, along with two penalties, to give the hosts a 13-0 advantage to take into the break.

Ballymena were able to thwart anything UCC’s young back-line could throw at them, but the visitors did make inroads as tired bodies lead to increased amounts of space.

Outside centre Brian Dennehy and winger Brian Derham finished off moves for tries as UCC threatened to sneak a result, but another penalty from O’Hara and a drop goal from full-back Roger McBurney settled the issue.

This latest victory means there is a seven-point gap between Ballymena, in fifth place, and their Ulster rivals Dungannon in sixth, although the Tyrone men do have a game in hand.

It also, more importantly, keeps John Andrews’ Ballymena side in the hunt at the business end of the table after they ended UCC’s three-match winning streak.