Final Score: Garryowen FC 25 Ballynahinch RFC 5
Scorers: Garryowen: Tries: Jamie Heuston, Bryan Fitzgerald, Paul Clancy, Rhys Tucker; Con: Ben Healy; Pen: Ben Healy
Ballynahinch: Try: Ryan Wilson
HT: Garryowen 10 Ballynahinch 0
Garryowen did particularly well to garner a bonus point in their 25-5 victory over Ballynahinch, which was played in dreadful weather conditions at Dooradoyle this afternoon.
A three-try second half salvo, including hooker Rhys Tucker’s late bonus point score, got the job done for Conan Doyle’s men, who are now back within two points of the top four in Division 1A.
Bottom-placed Ballynahinch made the long trip down to Limerick looking for a change in fortunes. They lined out with highly-rated Ulster Academy youngster Hayden Hyde in midfield, but this was a forwards-dominated encounter in the wind and rain and Garryowen showed a clinical edge at crucial stages of the game.
The deadlock was broken by a 27th-minute penalty from Munster prospect Ben Healy. Closing in on half-time, flanker Johnny Keane’s bullocking run and well-timed offload put supporting full-back Jamie Heuston over for the opening try, converted by Healy for a 10-0 advantage.
Despite some bright moments for Ballynahinch, who were well led by second row John Donnan, the Light Blues pulled clear. Bryan Fitzgerald sidestepped through to cross the whitewash before a cracking team score ended with Paul Clancy diving over in the right corner, after Heuston had stepped inside the cover and released the winger on the outside.
Now 20 points in arrears, ‘Hinch could not avoid leaking the bonus point try as a muscular Garryowen maul drove Tucker over the line inside the final few minutes. There was still time for Ballynahinch centre Ryan Wilson to touch down at the other end and take the bare look off the visitors’ side of the scoreboard.
GARRYOWEN: Jamie Heuston; Paul Clancy, Bryan Fitzgerald, Dave McCarthy, Tommy O’Horan; Ben Healy, Neil Cronin; Conor Fitzgerald, Rhys Tucker, Corrie Barrett, Sean O’Connor, Kevin Seymour (capt), Johnny Keane, Jack Daly, Tim Ferguson.
Replacements: Anson Thai, Jack Mullany, Sean Rennison, Jack Stafford, Jamin Hoffman.
BALLYNAHINCH: Ross Adair; Aaron Cairns, Hayden Hyde, Ryan Wilson, George Pringle; Sean O’Hagan, Rhys O’Donnell; Kyle McCall, Zack McCall, Jonny Blair, James Simpson, John Donnan (capt), Jack Regan, Marcus Rea, Conall Boomer.