Friday 23 August 2019

Ballina seeking promotion boost

Stock picture
Stock picture

Declan Rooney

Ballina RFC will take a huge step towards Ulster Bank League and senior rugby if they can claim victory against Instonians tomorrow in their second round robin qualifier at Shawbridge.

A 45-26 bonus-point win over Bandon RFC in round one was a huge boost for the Mayo club, who are aiming to become the fifth Connacht club that will compete in next season All-Ireland league.

In the other tie of the round Bandon RFC host Ashbourne, while Ballina are also on the road for their final game of the group when they face the Co Meath outfit next weekend.

Currently Ballina top the table with a maximum five points, while the 24-24 draw in the other round one match has certainly boosted their hopes of promotion to the senior ranks.

The top team in the pool after the three rounds of games is automatically promoted, while the team in second place will face another play-off against Division 2C's second last club, Bruff from Limerick.

Ballina have already played Instonians this season as the sides faced off at Heffernan Park and the Connacht men claimed the win on a 6-3 scoreline in the All-Ireland Junior Cup quarter-final. Coincidentally, next week's opponents Ashbourne actually ended Ballina's run in that competition with a 22-17 win in the last four.

In their win over Bandon, Ballina showed their undoubted class with seven tries, and they will look to Kieran Lindsay, Mark Feeley and Daniel Molloy to repeat their scoring achievements - they all scored two tries each.

Another bonus-point win will guarantee Ballina at least the play-off spot, but David Newman's side will be hoping to reach senior level with two more wins.

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Kick-off at Shawbridge is at 2.30pm.

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