Sports

Accies confident ahead of trip to Ballina

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Accies confident ahead of trip to Ballina thumbnailStewart McCain carries possession for Omagh Accies against Malahide.

OMAGH Accies make the journey westwards to Heffernan Park, Creggs Road to face Ballina in a vital match for both sides in their quest for an All-Ireland league place next year, both having succumbed in their first game of this three match round robin series.

The Accies were beaten by Dublin side Malahide 17-26 at Thomas Mellon Playing Fields on Saturday. While disappointed with the result, Omagh coach, Phil Marshall is optimistic ahead of the journey to Mayo

“We were poor in the first half, probably as bad as we have been all year but improved greatly in the second. As I said previously, it is a pleasure to be here and we are far from out of it yet."

“We know what we have to do at training this week and look forward to the trip to Ballina. With Clonmel only beating them 10-6 there is still everything to play for, but it will be another massive test for us".

Ballina RFC was established in 1928 with their finest hour coming in 1979 when as a junior club, when they defeated Athlone against all odds in the Connacht Senior Cup Final 10-6 in injury time.

Portadown beat Ballina 22-11 in the All-Ireland Junior Cup in October but with only two more losses in the season, the Connaught kingpins go into this match in good form, though having played considerably less rugby than the Accies with only 14 league fixtures in their programme.

Winners of the league from the Connemara All Blacks, former Accies opponents in their round robin matches of 20 years ago, their second string, like Omagh, have been in fine form this year, demonstrating good depth in playing respurces as they enter into their own play-off set of fixtures.

With a strong, heavy pack, and many players not long removed form All-Ireland experience, this will be a massive test for Phil Marshall's young charges

“We will have a long look at selection this week," said the coach. "There a few lads carrying knocks so we will see how we go. I had six squad players out on Saturday, but as I said before, this is what happens in rugby and I am making no excuses. It is privilege to be playing here and we will go into the match in confident form."

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