Defeat puts celebrations on ice for Ballina

Rugby: All Ireland League

Ballina's drive towards the All Ireland League Division 2C title took a bit of a wobble last weekend when they were beaten by 21 points by Dublin outfit, Malahide, in Eastuary Road.

The north Mayo men fell to a 38-17 defeat, which was only their third loss of the season in the league and they now find themselves six points clear at the top, with two games left to go.

Things started brilliantly for Ballina last weekend with Darragh Whyte crossing the line for an early try, with Dylan Prendergast adding the conversion to his side 7-0 up, but Malahide outscored them 14-3 over the remainder of the half, to go in leading 14-10 at the break, thanks to two converted tries with Prendergast kicking a penalty for Ballina.

The early stages of the second half is where things went awry for Ballina when the hosts ran in two unanswered converted tries, to push themselves into a 28-10 lead. Fergal Tully responded with a try which was converted to Prendergast to cut the gap back to 11 points - but Malahide added on another converted try and penalty to run out 38-17 winners.

Ballina have a weekend off now before they face into their second last game of the league at home to Tullamore on Saturday, April 6, where a bonus point win will clinch the title in front of their home faithful before their last game away, to Omagh, the following Saturday.

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