Braidmen claim vital All-Ireland League win in Limerick

Marty Irwin scored an important try in Ballymena's weekend win at UL Bohemians. Picture: Press Eye.
Marty Irwin scored an important try in Ballymena's weekend win at UL Bohemians. Picture: Press Eye.

Ballymena notched up another victory in their AIL campaign on Saturday, with a hard fought 17-15 win over UL Bohemian on a heavy pitch at Anacoty in Limerick.

Coach Andy Graham praised his opponents who played well and forced his side to give away penalties, and the fifteen points that they accumulated were the result of the accurate boot of out half Rick McKenna.

He put his side 6-0 ahead after fifteen minutes but John Andrew reduced the arrears getting the touchdown after a 20 metre driven maul, but the Bohs out half was on target once again to increase the lead at half time to 9-5.

Shortly after the break the ever alert Marty Irwin charged down a kick, regathered possession and sprinted 40 metres to score a try which Richie McMaster converted to put Ballymena back into the lead at 12-9.

But that man McKenna made his presence felt once again, kicking two more penalties, to open up a 15-12 lead with little time left. In the closing minutes Stephen Mulholland crashed over near the touchline for what proved to be the winning score, giving Ballymena a narrow 17-15 win.

In the remaining time Bohs exerted a lot of pressure but for the second time this season failed to break down the Ballymena defence which has been one of the outstanding features of their campaign.

They remain second in on the Division 1B table, two points behind St. Mary’s who still have to visit Eaton Park for the return fixture in February.

There is now a two week break in the AIL fixture list, the next game being against Buccaneers at Eaton Park on 30th January.