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Galwegians defy Bann to take over at the top

By Ronnie Ingram

Galwegians are the new leaders of Div 2A as their impressive defence helped them to an 11-7 victory over Banbridge at Rifle Park.

Visiting out-half Ross Shaughnessy kicked a penalty after 10 minutes and this advantage was increased when a clearance kick was charged down and Shaughnessy was on hand to score a try.

Three minutes into the second period, Bann struck back with an excellent try. Hugo Harbinson came off the wing and cut behind the defence to link with Shandon Scott. He grubber-kicked for the speedy Harbinson to touch down for Adam Doherty to convert.

The home team were inside their opponents's '22' for nearly 20 minutes in the second half, bombarding the Galwegians line, but they could not break through and a late penalty from replacement Ciaran Gaffney sealed the win.

Portadown, beaten only once in Qualifying 1, crashed out of the Powerade Towns Cup 24-3 in the first round to Ballymena but coach Richard Hedley said the scoreline was not a fair reflection of the play.

"I didn't think we played badly. We made a number of line breaks but lacked the finish to score tries. Our set piece was not up to our usual standard and the loss of second row Willie Graham with a dislocated elbow just before half-time meant that we we struggling in the line-outs from then on.

"But credit to Ballymena who took their chances."

Try scorers for Ballymena, who led 17-3 at half-time, were full back Rory Drysdale, flanker Shane McBurney and centre Darryl Montgomery with Chris McVitty kicking a penalty for the home team.

Ballynahinch II were much too strong for Lisburn with a hat-trick of tries by Michael Carson setting up the 36-3 victory. Hooker Conor Piper, Zac McCall and Davy Harris also crossed the try line.

Other results: Ards II 10 Ballyclare 24, Armagh II 21 Rainey II 17, Bangor 48 City of Derry II 10, Carrickfergus 5 Dromore 18, Clogher Valley 59 Limavady 0, Coleraine 14 Randalstown 12, Omagh 48 Dungannon II 3, Larne 22 Lurgan 17.

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