Ballinasloe and Creggs served up some very exciting fare at frosty Moher on Sunday with the home side holding out for a three point win.
This wholehearted affair was sufficient to warm the cockles of the heart and in some cases, the fingers and toes as well.
The irony of the occasion was not lost on those who witnessed the second round meeting between these sides at The Green in Creggs back in September.
In that game Ballinasloe had a last minute penalty kick at goal to win the game but the effort just fell short and and the locals held on for a two point win.
This time the positions were reversed and Creggs had a last second penalty attempt to share the spoils but while it had the distance the direction was off, much to the home side’s relief.
Ballinasloe weathered early pressure from the visitors before some dainty foot work from Aidan Doorley neatly tucked the ball behind Creggs line for Kealan O’Neill to dive on it for the opening try which he also converted.
He also kicked a penalty in the twenty seventh minute in response to an earlier effort from Noel Flynn for Creggs. The later doubled his return in the thirty second minute to leave the score 10pts to 6.
The visitors upped the intensity as half time approached. Their pressure paid off when Bernard Kilcommins charged over for a try converted by Flynn to have them three points ahead as the half time whistle sounded.
The second period opened with Creggs making serious efforts to kill off the game. They were on top in the contact area but could not add to their score. They were off target with a penalty effort in the fifty second minute.
With their opponents failing to trouble the scoreboard, Ballinasloe took heart and a huge maul deep into enemy territory was the launch pad for a number of major raids on Creggs line.
Led by Mark Harrigan and his forces, Ballinasloe had the visitors defence in all kinds of trouble but a try was not forthcoming.
Kealan O’Neill kicked an equalising penalty during this onslaught.
As the game moved into the final two minutes the hosts were awarded a penalty when the visitors were penalised for killing the ball.
Up stepped O’Neill to land a fine long distance effort and restore the lead but the drama was not over yet as there was that last kick miss by Creggs to recall that evening in late September.