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Ballymena Edge Home In Tight Tussle With UCC

Ballymena Edge Home In Tight Tussle With UCC

Ballymena took the spoils in a rain-hit Division 1B opener against UCC at the Mardyke where Alisdair Frazer scored the only try.

It was a humid day on Leeside but heavy rain made playing conditions particularly difficult, and it was no surprise that the first half was tryless until Ballymena made a late breakthrough.

Former Dolphin out-half Cormac O'Flynn kicked the Cork students ahead from a third minute penalty, before Ulster prospect Blane McIlroy replied to for Ballymena ten minutes later.

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O’Flynn smacked over a terrific penalty from near the sideline to restore UCC’s advantage, but Ballymena were proving the stronger outfit in open play.

The pressure eventually told when winger Alasdair Frazer crashed over for John Andrews' charges on the stroke of half-time, making it 8-6 to Ballymena.

The visitors included their new South African recruit Richard Aingworth at centre, and lined out with new half-backs McIlroy and ex-Ballymoney clubman Martin Irwin.

The second period was a real war of attrition slugged out between the packs. Both sides missed penalty opportunities and the Braidmen did enough to hold on and take a two-point win.

Referee: Brian MacNeice (IRFU)