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Ballymena fight on in Adrian Hamilton late show

By Ronnie Ingram

Six minutes into injury time, an Adrian Hamilton try handed Ballymena a 19-17 AIL 2A win at Old Crescent to keep them in the promotion chase.

Undefeated Galwegians are the virtual champions as Ballymena would need to win their final three games with bonus points and hope that the Galway team lose their final two.

The Eaton Park team only have a two point advantage over Barnhall, Queen's and City of Derry so they cannot afford any slip-ups against Rainey (A), Barnhall (H) and UCC (A) in their concluding fixtures.

"I'm sure Old Crescent are very disappointed with the result as victory for them would have eased their relegation problems," commented Ballymena Director of Rugby Pete McKenzie.

"They came out with all guns blazing and took a deserved early lead with two penalties. In the second quarter our backs created space and winger Darryl Montgomery cut through for Davy O'Hara to convert and give us a 7-6 interval lead.

"Two minutes into the second half, they had a third penalty and then took a 14-7 advantage mid-way through with an unconverted try. We kept to our task and the huge Adrian Hamilton gathered and charged over for O'Hara to add the points to level.

"They came back at us with a fourth penalty and when it looked as though we were going to have to settle for a losing bonus point, Hamilton popped up again and showed his strength and determination to score the winning try."

Overall it was a satisfying afternoon for the Ulster teams in 2A, bar Banbridge who lost with the last kick at Bective, 29-27. City of Derry scored a 32-10 home win over Cashel, Rainey overcame Highfield, 31-14, and Queen's had a 27-20 success at Bruff.

In 2B Ards now appear to be safe from relegation following a 31-26 win over Boyne, Armagh lost to Thomond 17-10 and Instonians are in trouble unless they record a couple of wins against Sligo (H), Richmond (A) and Suttonians (A)

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