Date Time Competition Season
18 November 2023 1:00 pm AIL Division 2A 2023/24

Match Report

UL Survive Late Ballymena Surge To Take Points

In a nail biting finish in Annacotty, UL Bohemian showed incredible defensive prowess to keep Ballymena out in the dying embers to seal their fourth win of the campaign.

A slogfest from start to finish it looked like the 14 men of Ballymena had done enough to take victory in this contest in the dying seconds with their attacking intent almost warranting a winning try.

UL camped their line and showed incredible discipline to keep their visitors out and score another important win in this campaign.

Not enough to rise from fourth as Barnhall took a losing bonus point to keep them in third spot in the standings. While for Ballymena they sit ninth three points adrift of safety.

Harry Byrne gave UL the ideal start, kicking two penalties for a 6-0 lead in the opening ten minutes. It looked like it was going to get even better as Tom Cullen raced toward the try line and as the young hooker crossed he knocked on in the process and Ballymena had a lifeline.

Bohs kept the pressure on but some errors in their handling cost them trying to future the lead in the opening half. Ballymena had few ventures into the UL 22 but the boot of Pierce Crowe was giving them ground in the UL half.

From another penalty to touch Ballymena would strike for their opening score. A terrific lineout gathered steam toward the UL try line and after numerous phases of intense attack without a score, captain Adam Lamont dotted down for their opening try. Crowe had his conversion crack the right upright as the hosts took a one point lead to the break, 6-5.

Into the second half and Bohs certainly had their tails up trying to snatch the lead and when Adam Lamont went to the bin they had a chance. Bryne found touch and after a terrific maul from the lineout, Liam Neilan broke and crossed for their try. Bryne three from three gave the hosts a 13-5 margin.

No sooner had Bohs furthered their lead Ballymena hit back. From the restart the danger was not cleared a smart thinking from Ballymena scrum half Roshan Weerarathne taking a tap go penalty too quick for UL to react and he powered over for their second try. Crowe nailed this conversion however and the gap was back to one.

Discipline would soon cost the visitors however, losing Louis McGuckian to yellow and then Weerarathne to red for high tackles. With 13 men on the field they kept battling but another three pointer from Byrne edged the hosts ahead.

The final minutes were energy sapping as Bohs defended for their lives as Ballymena were using their killer scrum to effect. After holding off a wave of onslaught it looked game over as Ballymena powered over but were held up over the line and that was the heart-breaking conclusion to an incredible contest between these two.

UL Bohemian


15Rodger McBurney Full-Back
14Eoin Riston 19 Winger
13Rhys Irvine Centre
12Callum Patterson Centre
11Curtis Henry Winger
10Pierce Crowe Fly-Half 52'
9Roshan Weeraratne Scrum-Half 51'
1Josh Mark 17 Prop
2Mark Lamont Hooker
3Joseph Mawhinney Prop
4Connor Smith Lock
5Paddy Browne Lock
6James Howe Flanker
7John Glass Flanker
8Adam Lamont No. 8 34'
16Andrew Ferguson
17Cillian Butler 1
18Ryan McCartney
19Louis McGuckian 14 68'
20Tristan Ferguson

Past Meetings

(Round 16)
25 - 22
AIL Division 2A
Eaton Park

Ballymena V UL Bohemian

(Round 3)
20 - 24
AIL Division 2A
UL Arena

UL Bohemian v Ballymena

(Round 11)
42 - 17
AIL Division 2A
Eaton Park

Ballymena v UL Bohemian

(Round 8)
29 - 26
AIL Division 2A
UL Arena

UL Bohemian v Ballymena


Oak View, Mulcair Dr, Garraunykee, Annacotty, Co. Limerick

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.