Malone mauled again by Ballynahinch
AIL Divisions 1B and Two
It hardly seemed fair. A week after being slaughtered 64-5 by Ballynahinch in the Ulster League, and leaking 10 tries, Malone then had to face the same opposition again and this time, even though the venue was different, the outcome was much the same.
Division Two leaders ‘Hinch finished 59-21 to the good with the Gibson Park faithful seeing their side’s try line breached nine times by an opposition that are still unbeaten after seven AIL outings.
‘Hinch ruthlessly put Malone to the sword and with Michael Graham and Chris Napier causing mayhem with the ball in hand, they were able to consistently play front foot rugby with some effective off-loading and support play.
They also attacked Malone’s set pieces with gusto and yet only led 17-7 after an error-strewn first-half with Gary Crowe, Aaron Ferris and Adam Craig harvesting ‘Hinch’s only tries.
Credit has to be given to Malone for battling the odds as they ultimately fell to their fourth consecutive AIL defeat.
They scored three tries with Mark McCrea bagging a hat-trick and provided several of the games memorable moments with full back Michael Barker’s last-ditch tackles twice preventing scores.
Still, for all their cameo performances, Malone leaked four more tries to Craig, Napier, David Drake and Robin Harte.
Even though McCrea scored next there was never any way back from conceding 28 unanswered points before the centre's second try had Malone 45-14 behind.
Graham and Harry McAleese completed the nine try rout before McCrea had the last word with a third try.
Elsewhere in Division Two, Belfast Harlequins managed a bonus point win to move into fifth when they held on to see off Corinthians 34-27 at Deramore while Queen’s University also got a bonus win as they came back from being 20-8 down to beat bottom side Clonakilty 44-25.
Ballymena at least managed a losing bonus point when being beaten 29-22 at DLSP while, in Division 1B, Dungannon got nothing when they were turned over 32-22 at UL Bohemians.