Braidmen lose unbeaten tag in All-Ireland League

Ballymena charge towards the Malone line in difficult conditions at Eaton Park, during Saturday's All-Ireland League game. INBT 46-942H
Ballymena charge towards the Malone line in difficult conditions at Eaton Park, during Saturday's All-Ireland League game. INBT 46-942H

Ballymena suffered their first setback in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League Division 1B when they lost 13-7 at home to Malone.

In a game played mostly in a downpour, Ballymena’s unbeaten record fell to a committed Malone side at Eaton Park.

Apart from the first five minutes of the game when Ballymena enjoyed a degree of supremacy, the first half belonged to Malone.

In those forty minutes, thanks to a dominant scrum and a strong defence, Malone denied Ballymena any kind of scoring chance, kicking two penalties to give the a 6-0 lead at half time.

That lead proved decisive, as Ballymena, largely deprived of good possession, failed to make inroads into the Malone defence, their only reward being a James Beattie try, while Malone lock Cory Tipping responded in kind for his side.

This loss and a victory for Galwegians means that Ballymena slip to second place in the Division 1B table.