Braidmen’s relegation fears increase after heavy home defeat
BALLYMENA’S All-Ireland League Division 1B status looks increasingly vulnerable after a heavy 42-5 home defeat by second-placed Dublin University at Eaton Park on Saturday.
Ballymena’s desperate need for points saw them start very strongly, putting Dublin University under pressure from the kick off.
Five minutes into the game Ballymena was awarded their first penalty, Patterson rattled his kick off the post.
On 15 minutes the visitors had a chance to take he lead after Ballymena gave away a penalty for not releasing on the ground, the resulting kick went wide.
At the restart Ballymena went on the attack again. The forwards forced Dublin university to give away another penalty at 17minutes which resulted in another Patterson kick going wide.
Dublin university took a 22 metre restart, Ballymena gathered and went on the attack again and a few phases later received another penalty for their hard work this time in front of the post. Patterson stepped up but again put the kick wide.
Ballymena now had momentum and were throwing everything at the visitors defence and at 25 minutes Dublin had a player yellow carded for repeat offences that resulted in a 5 metre scrum for Ballymena. Dublin won the scrum against the head and again got their lines cleared with a great kick.
Dublin university slowly started to get back in the game and at 35 minutes were given a penalty which they slotted over to open the scoring.
The students received the ball from the restart and some weak tackling from Ballymena allowed the visitors to move the ball resulting in a try that went unconverted.
Ballymena showed great determination from the restart and and the ball finally found its way to captain Martin Irwin who crossed the line for Ballymena’s first points, the conversion was missed by Ian Vance at 40 minutes.
According to the referee there was time for a restart and the visitors were up quick on Ballymena and were able to turn them over at the breakdown resulting in the ball being moved out for a Dublin winger to go over for their second try. The conversion was missed as the half ended 5-13.
The second half started with Dublin putting Ballymena on the back foot and they were getting more dominant with every passing minute.
At 55 minutes the visitors were awarded a penalty from a scrum and the resulting kick was dispatched between the posts to extend the lead to 5-16.
The sin-binning of Darrell O’Kane added to the pressure on Ballymena and at 70 minutes made their extra man count when they scored a converted try from a scrum.
It went from bad to worse for the Braidmen when they conceded two converted tries in quick succession taking the score to 5-37.
The last five minutes were played in Ballymena’s half and with only seconds left on the clock Dublin university found space to send their winger through for the final score of the game and complete a chastening afternoon for John Andrews’ side.
Ballymena: A Warwick, J Andrew, M Irvine, I Caldwell, D Whann, Smyth, P Smyth, S Mulholland, I Vance, M Irwin, N Stirling, A Smith, C Patterson, D Montgomery, J Nicholl.
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Weather for Ballymena
Thursday 23 May 2013
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