Creggs 23 Ballina 17
In an exciting game played in perfect conditions in Creggs last Sunday the home team showed great grit, skill and determination to emerge victorious, scoring 3 tries to two in a tight contest. Ballina opened strongly with their big pack of forwards gaining the upper hand. Shane Dowd opened the scoring with an early penalty but a series of drives from the Ballina forwards yielded a try under the posts which they converted. It looked ominous for Creggs but the forwards showed leadership with Alex Syrek, James Regan and Michael Kelly taking the game to the Mayo lads. This set up a platform for the ball to be moved from scrumhalf Michael Farrell to centre Colm Fallon and Kevin Gavin on to overlapping wingers Connor Gore who fed winger Luke Kelly. Luke then popped to Colm Fallon who was supporting him on the outside to score at the corner flag. Shane Dowd converted superbly from the touchline leaving Creggs three points ahead. However a misplaced lineout throw allowed Ballina in for their second try before half-time leaving the away team two points ahead at the break. 12 points to 10. The second half was a close encounter with no score for the first 15 minutes with forwards Simon Spain, Dan Butt and Brian Coady tackling everything that moved. They were well supported by a powerful back row of Thomas O’Byrne, Aidan Devine and Prop Andrew Mannion. Conor McNeill tackled well and cleared the danger on a few occasions when he replaced injured full back Robbie Daly. Finally Creggs drove through the Ballina defence and a high tackle on Shane Dowd yielded a penalty which the out half converted, he followed that up with another penalty leaving Creggs four points ahead with five minutes left. Ballina launched another attack looking for the winning try but a superb backline move involving all the backs from deep inside their own 25 lead to Kevin Gavin scoring the match winning try in the corner. Shane Dowd converted from the touchline once again leaving Creggs 11 points to the good. A late try from Ballina left the final score Creggs 23 Ballina 17.
Panel: S. Spain, D. Butt, B. Coady, M.Kelly, A. Devine, T. O’Byrne, J. Regan, A. Syrek, M. Farrell, S. Dowd, C. Fallon, C. Gore, K. Gavin, L. Kelly, R. Daly, C. McNeill, A. Mannion, C. Leahy.