Ballymena men narrowly beaten by Dolphin in All-Ireland League game
Thursday, 16 March 2017
BALLYMENA travelled to Cork for the All-Ireland League Division 1B game against Dolphin at the weekend.
Andy Graham's team was very much depleted by injury and that Ulster A were playing at the same ground the following day.
This was a massive challenge for the men in black and a win would be something very special.
In bright sunlight and temperature of 16 degrees the game was always going to be physically and mentally tough.
Dolphin took the game to ballymena from the outset and soon had points on the board with a converted try. Ballymena soon began to get a feel for the game and Ritchie McMaster closed the gap with a penalty.
It was to and fro with penalties on both sides and at half time the result was difficult to predict.
The second half was just as tough as the first and Dolphin were very much putting Ballymena under pressure. Things changed however when Glenn Baillie took the ball into contact, fought his way through three defenders and with a neat pass put James Gallagher in for a try just right of the posts.
Dolphin fought back hard and were able to secure two drop goals plus a try to take the lead in the final minutes, the score being 18 - 16.
In the final seconds ballymena were awarded a penalty on the 22 and with a strong head wind Ritchie McMaster kicked to win the match.
The kick was long enough but just wide of the left post and the game ended with ballymena on the wrong side of the result.
*Story and pictures in this week's Ballymena Guardian.
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