In a game played mostly in a downpour, Ballymena’s unbeaten record in Division 1B 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. Malone extended their lead when Cory Tipping crashed over for a try, converted by Beverland, to put his side into what turned out to be an unassailable lead. After some slick passing by the backs, James Beattie was given some room to work in out on the left wing, and he finished off in style, reducing the lead to six points, following the successful conversion.
This loss and a victory for Galwegians means that Ballymena slip to second place in the Division 1B table. The two side meet again later in the month in the semi-final of the Ulster Senior Cup.
Action Shots from Ardclinis Photography
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Match Highlights from Harry Cook – Image Media Films