Dominant Ballymena retain Ulster Senior Cup


Ballymena 25 Rainey OB 6Ballymena easily retained the First Trust Ulster Senior Cup at a damp and miserable Ravenhill last night after seeing off Rainey Old Boys, who were making their first final appearance.

The Braidmen, who scored three tries, now progress to the All-Ireland Cup semi-final – they were beaten in last season’s final by Garryowen – and they will be hoping that this result helps to re-igniite their faltering AIL campaign in Division 1B.

Tries from Peter Budina and John Burns, both converted by Timothy Small, gave the holders a 14-3 lead and, with their pack exerting greater control, Small kicked two further penalties after Rainey’s Mark O’Connor had slotted his second three-pointer to put Ballymena 20-6 up after 68 minutes.

Then with four minutes remaining former Leinster squad member Simon Shawe drove over on the left and Small missed the extras.

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