Ballinasloe returned to winning ways on Sunday when overcoming Dunmore by 15pts to 6, following disappointing defeats in their previous outings.
Just as in the opening round of the league, when Dunmore won by two points, there was little enough again between two evenly matched sides in this most recent meeting. Ballinasloe might be somewhat flattered by their winning margin but nevertheless deserved their win, scoring two tries in the process.
Played in difficult conditions, with rain falling throughout and on a greasy surface, it was not an afternoon for constructive rugby. Still credit to both sides for their honest endeavour in pursuit of the points on offer.
Not surprisingly it was a game more dominated by the forwards with any decent back play at a premium. The opening exchanges were fairly even with both packs slugging it out and few scoring opportunities arising.
Ballinasloe went ahead after twenty four minutes when Kealan O’Neill landed a penalty from thirty five metres. They increased their lead at the half hour mark when good work by their forwards created an opening for Conor Loughrey to score a try which O’Neill converted.
Dunmore went in search of a score before the break and penned the opposition into their own half. Indeed Ballinasloe had to call on all their resolve to defend their line in the minutes leading up to the interval.
The sides trooped off at the break with the locals 10pts to nil ahead.
The visitors, realising that the game could be slipping away from them, went on the offensive early in the second period but the home defence would not be easily breached. They eventually got on the scoreboard in the sixty third minute when Stephen O’Toole slotted a penalty after a Ballinasloe player was penalised for holding on to the ball after the tackle. When he repeated the dose five minutes later Ballinasloe’s lead looked most precarious but they weathered the storm.
The game was still there for the taking with ten minutes left on the clock but play was now inside Dunmore’s half and it looked a long way to their opponent’s posts. The outcome was settled with six minutes to go when
Ballinasloe’s scrum half, Rory Doolan, hacked on a loose ball and chased it up to score a try close to the corner flag for his side’s second of the afternoon. The conversion was missed but with both teams visibly tiring no further scores looked likely and Ballinasloe were happy to hang on for a welcome win.