Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Reaney's last-gasp drop goal sees Hinch sit top of the table

By Michael Sadlier

It always had the look of a home win about it and so it turned out with Ballynahinch triumphing 28-13 to rack up an AIL double over struggling Ballymena.

Just when it looked as if Hinch would end up sharing the spoils at Naas, up stepped Richard Reaney to deliver a last-minute drop goal to secure the 27-24 win which took them from second to top of the table.

With Shannon drawing at Banbridge, the five points Hinch gathered up at Naas put Brian McLaughlin's in-form side two points ahead of the Munster men with five games to play.

And Hinch got their win the hard way as their 17-7 half-time lead was whittled away by Naas who fought back to lead 21-17 before a final flurry of scoring locked the sides together at 24-24 with winger Reaney picking his moment right at the end.

First half tries from Reaney, who ended up scoring 12 points, Ulster lock Pete Browne and back-rower Conal Boomer had given Hinch their interval lead and they only picked up their try bonus from former Ulster prop Jerry Cronin after Naas had stolen into their 21-17 lead.

Reaney's conversion put Hinch 24-21 up but a Naas penalty then brought the sides together for what looked a certain draw until that dramatic drop goal.

At Rifle Park, Banbridge came from behind to share the spoils 15-15 with Shannon with an injury time penalty try ensuring Dan Soper's third-placed squad are still looking very much on for a top four finish. It was a hard-fought encounter against the Limerick side and Bann trailed 10-3 early in the second half.

They had opened the scoring early on with an Ian Porter penalty but had then conceded a 27th-minute converted try which allowed Shannon lead 7-3 after the opening half.

That became 10-3 after a Conor Fitzgerald penalty before Bann worked winger Adam Ervine over for an unconverted try. Shannon then missed two penalties and failed to convert a late try prior to shipping a yellow card near the end.

Bann responded and the penalty try - and automatic conversion - came their way.

After beating Shannon at home last week, Ballymena were badly mauled at UCC with the students winning 58-12 which now sees the Braidmen slip a place to ninth in the table.

1B: Banbridge 15 Shannon 15, Dolphin 13 Old Wesley 13, Naas 24v Hinch 27, UCC 58 Ballymena 12, UL Bohs 34 Old Belvo 19.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph