Ballymena made it three wins out of four in their Division 2A AIL campaign with a win against Nenagh on Saturday. Andy Hughes’s men won the clash 16-14 to leave themselves fourth in the league standing before Saturday’s away clash against Cashel.
The home side started the first half brightly and went into a 3-0 lead thanks to a penalty from Ross McKay. They went 8-0 ahead after some nice football skills from Rhys Irvine after an error from the visitors. Nenagh was reduced to 14 men as they received their first yellow card of the afternoon as the first half ended 8-0 to Ballymena.
After the break, Ballymena extended their lead through another McKay penalty to make it 11-0. Nenagh then picked up their second yellow of the second half as their prop was shown yellow for repeated penalties at scrum time. The visitors then got on the board with a converted try from short range to make it 11-7. It was then 16-7 as Rhys Irvine ran a great line to go over from close range. Nenagh scored another try near the death, but Ballymena held on to claim the victory.
Coach Hughes was glad to get another win as their league campaign gained momentum.
“Yes of course. It was a dog fight in the end because of the weather. Both teams stuck it out, and it was a typical AIL game. We came out with the win, but it easily could have been different.
“We hung in there and got the result we needed and compliments to Cashel. They are a big team, but we know can battle it out. We will keep trying to improve and try to play more ball.,” he added.
Ballymena RFC: 15 Mark Thompson, 14 Dean Millar, 13 Rhys Ervine, 12 Callum Patterson, 11 Louis McGuckian, 10 Ross McKay, 9 Glenn Baillie, 1 Josh Mark, 2 Andrew Ferguson, 3 James Taggart, 4 Paddy Browne, 5 Jonny Browne, 6 James Howe, 7 Adam Lamont, 8 Oisin Jordan.
SUBS: Simon McWhirterm 17 David Forsythe, 18 David McKeeman, 19 James McClean, 20 Angus Robson.
Nenagh Ormond RFC; 1 Sean Frawley, 2 Dylan Murphy, 3 Johnny Hayes, 4 Jake O‘Kelly, 5 Kevin O‘Flaherty, 6 Rob Buckley, 7 John O’Flaherty, 8 John Hayes, 9 Cian Ryan, 10 Nicky Irwin, 11 Conor McMahon, 12 John Healy, 13 Willie Coffey, 14 Dave Gleeson 15 Josh Rowland..
SUBS: 16 Peter O’Connor, 17 Jack O’Keefe, 18 Evan Murphy, 19 Joe Coffey, 20 Ricardo Beltrame.