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Mixed emotions for McAleese after win

 

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballynahinch did enough to win their SONI Ulster Premiership game at Ballymena 20-17 but director of rugby Harry McAleese was not entirely satisfied.

"It was a scrappy game and we could have played a lot better. We won after having a player yellow carded in each half and I'm happy but still a bit disappointed," he said.

Paddy Wright kicked two early penalties but Ballymena led at half-time when Tim Small added the points to a Matthew Dick try.

The best score of the afternoon came after Hinch winger Conor Philips made a break 30 metres out, made ground down the left and linked with back row forward Conal Boomer who raced in for Wright to goal.

Small kicked a home penalty before Hinch made it 20-10 when hooker Conor Piper charged over for Richard Reaney to add the points. Late in the game Josh Bill crossed for Ballymena for another converted score.

The presence of Ulster coach Daniel Soper appeared to inspire Banbridge when they gained revenge 21-17 following their cup defeat at Queen's last week. The students went 10 points ahead with Brian Cunningham and Josh Fullerton tries but Bann made it 15-10 by half-time.

Ryan Hughes and Andrew Morrison touched down for Adam Doherty to convert the former and add a penalty. Later Doherty kicked two more penalties and Fullerton had a second try for Queen's which Ritchie McMaster converted.

Champions Armagh suffered their second league defeat when Malone emerged 22-12 victors at Palace Grounds. The home team had a Nigel Simpson try and a penalty try while Malone's Josh Pentland had a try, a penalty and two conversions. No 8 Ryan Clarke crashed over for two tries.

After two games Ballynahinch have nine points, Malone, Queen's and Banbridge six each, Ballymena three and Armagh zero.

In Division Two 12 points by Scott McLean helped Rainey to five points when they scored four tries against City of Derry 27-8 while Bangor, after trailing Belfast Harlequins 5-17 at the interval, rallied to earn a bonus point 17-24.

There was a feast of rugby at Stevenson Park where 10 tries were scored and 71 points accumulated when Dungannon defeated Omagh 45-26.

Rainey head Division Two with nine points, Belfast Harlequins have eight, Dungannon and City of Derry five each, Bangor two and Omagh one.

Belfast Telegraph

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