Heineken Junior Plate
Some wonder how Ballina maintain a top four footing consistently year on year even during times when they are not having the best of seasons.
They should take note of Sunday’s Junior plate outing where the north Mayo side fielded a full strength side in a very hard fought 22-8 victory over Ballyhaunis.
Tries from Philip Timoney , Kevin McCarron, Orrie Collins and Michael Murphy helped to them to a win with the hosts getting one from Mantas Smirnova and always in contention until the final ten.
Caption: Action from Sunday’s meeting of Ballina and Ballyhaunis in the plate. Pic: Corinne Beattie, Ballina RFC.
Five of the 14 teams in the Junior plate just didn’t field this season, that’s very much the norm. A number of others fielded teams but were well short of their normal form.
Only Ballyhaunis, Dunmore, Ballinasloe and Ballina can genuinely say they reached their full potential in the competition this season.
There are many reasons why clubs are struggling in the current climate and that is a factor in why so many have pulled out but if they target emulating the top side’s in the province in the long run, the first step is playing through a full season, it’s like the follow through in a golf swing.
The plate would hardly be a landmark for a club with Ballina’s ambitions but fronting up in every competition they compete in is part of their ethos. Surely their are benefits to such a strategy for every club.
Connemara 17, Dunmore 24
Creggs 3, Ballinasloe 24
Buccaneers w/o Corrib
Ballina w/o Portumna
Loughrea 24, UCG 3
Tuam w/o Carrick
Ballyhaunis 26, Loughrea 3
Ballina w/o Tuam
Ballinasloe 25, Buccaneers 0
Dunmore w/o Ballinrobe
Ballyhaunis 8, Ballina 22
Dunmore v Ballinasloe (March 24)
Sportsground (Possibly Pre Junior Cup Final)