The unbeaten Instonians pull further clear of the chasing pack with another emphatic performance, while Clonmel rise to fourth as Bangor and Midleton drop places.
Ballina 24-17 Omagh Academicals, Heffernan Park
Ballina picked up their first win of the season, coming from behind to seal the win in a fantastic second half showing.
Omagh led from an early penalty, but back came the hosts, Ben Matheson getting over for a converted try to make it 7-3 in their favour. Omagh hit back in style as Ryan Mitchell got over in the corner for a 10-7 lead. Calum Quinn restored the hosts lead as he got over for another converted effort after 22 minutes. It was the visitors who would go in ahead at the break, Robbie Sproule with the assist for Adam Longwell to go under the posts and make it 17-14 at the break.
Three minutes into the second half Ballina notched their third try of the game with Bradley O’Leary crossing the whitewash, the conversion making it a 21-17 lead in their favour. The remainder of the second half was tight but it was the hosts that would triumph, Matheson landing a penalty on the hour mark to take the points.
Bangor 15-23 Tullamore, Upritchard Park
Tullamore kept up their title challenge after a strong showing throughout their away tie at Bangor to take the points.
Despite an early penalty after five minutes from the hosts, it was Tullamore who took the advantage with an unconverted try after 13 minutes,momentum stayed with them as by the half hour mark two converted penalties saw them move 11-3 clear. Bangor turned the game on its head just before the break as an unconverted try reduced the visitors lead to 11-8 by half time.
The try before the break did little to upset the visitors and cost the momentum, Eoin Farrell got over after 46 minutes to extend the lead to 16-8, while on the hour mark they crossed again this time they added the conversion for a 23-8 lead. The hosts managed a consolation seven point at the death, but it was just too little too late in the outcome of the tie.
Bruff 28-30 Clonmel, Kilballyowen Park
Clonmel are up to fourth in the table after managing to hold out from a strong second half blitz by Bruff to seal the win in the end.
The visitors started brightly as Albert Fronek dove over after some serious pressure near the line reaped the reward for a 7-0 lead after six minutes, both were down to 14 men as yellow cards were brandished, they kept the scoring up as Andrew Daly added their second converted try after 20 minutes, Mark O’Connell got the hosts on the board with a converted try after 38 minutes, but deep in added time Clonmel were awarded a third try for a 19-7 lead at the break, with Bruff a man down once more with another sin bin.
It was Bruff who notched first in thes second half, a penalty try in the 52nd minute reducing the gap to 19-14, despite another yellow card the hosts were ahead after 58 minutes to narrowly lead 21-19. Dylan Cadogan replied for the visitors with a penalty to move them a point in front after the hour mark, Cadogan notched another for a 25-21 lead, as the tension was rising in the Munster derby, Matthew Hynes got over for another Clonmel try in the 78th minute to seal the win, despite Bruff getting a late consolation effort to take a losing bonus point in the 85th minute.
Instonians 47-13 Midleton, Shaws Bridge
Eight wins from eight, with eight bonus points secured, it really has been all Instonians in 2A, another emphatic win putting them nine clear at the summit.
Bevan Prinsloo got the hosts ahead with a converted try in the early exchanges, but Midleton struck back quickly through Stuey Lee as he crossed in the corner to make it 7-5. Back came the Stones and Neil Saunders doing what he does best, driving over for his 13th try of the year, extending the lead to 14-5.
Midleton added a penalty but would soon put more pressure on the hosts after they were down to 14 men with a yellow card as Prinsloo went to the sin bin, opting for touch, their lineout worked a great maul short of the line and JB Du Toit crossed to make it 14-13. The end of the half was tight but the hosts had a penalty try awarded near the death to lead 21-13 at the break, another card shown this time for Midleton.
Instonians would cruise in the second half, Mark Keane adding the bonus point after the restart, before Alan Whitten crossed to make it 35-13, they never looked like being caught in the half with Rhys Davidson putting it beyond doubt as his try in the corner put them 40-13 ahead. They had one try left in them as the Keanes combined, with Mathew Keane passing to Mark Keane who offloaded to Daniel Keane who spotted Prinsloo free to get under the post.
Sundays Well 24-21 Skerries, Musgrave Park
Sundays Well made a big splash at the weekend, as they produced a dominant display to defeat third placed Skerries at Musgrave Park.
Well notched ahead with a penalty early on, but three Ronan Mulcahy penalties moved them 9-3 clear. Winger Shane Keevers responded for Well as he got over for a try with Fabian Loughrey adding the conversion. Skerries reply was swift and impactful as Lorcan Jones bundled over for a 14-10 lead at the break.
Well were quick off the start of the second half, getting their second try as Skerries found themselves down to 14, the hosts used the man advantage to notch a third try for a 24-14 lead, Skerries up against it but Conor Lennox set up a dramatic finish with a try to leave three between them, but the clock was not on the Goats side as they fell to defeat on Leeside.