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Ballyclare and CIYMS progress in fine fashion


By Ronnie Ingram

Ulster teams experienced mixed fortunes in the All Ireland Junior Cup but two powerful performances by Ballyclare and CIYMS resulted in wins over Connemara, 21-10, and Monivea, 32-13, respectively.

A penalty right at the end gave former champions Dundalk a 17-14 victory at Instonians while Carrickfergus will be disappointed with their 37-7 defeat at Munster junior league 12th placed Waterpark.

The qualifiers for the second round may well give an indication of the standard of Junior rugby in Ireland as all four Leinster representatives go forward as do two from Ulster and Munster with all Connacht teams eliminated.

Ballyclare coach Mike McKeever thought his team should have put the issue beyond doubt in the first 30 minutes.

"We squandered at least three try scoring opportunities in the first half hour and should have been further than 15-5 in front at the interval," he said.

"It was a really strong team effort especially after the five and a half hour trip on Friday. The conditions were trying and we played smart rugby despite the hail with captain Grant Bartley and vice captain Joel McBride leading by example and full-back Gary Clotworthy dealing with the high ball."

Robbie Reid, who has moved from the centre to out-half in the absence of the injured Bobby Smith, kicked an early penalty before finishing off a team effort try. Strong running left winger Michael Kirk added a second converted try and Reid was later successful with two of his second half penalty attempts.

The other results were Ashbourne (holders) 57 Westport 0, Creggs 24 Clonmel 36, Richmond 18 Enniscorthy 32, Wicklow 37 Kilfeacle and District 7

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