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Ballynahinch clinch Ballymena final with win over Belfast Harlequins

By Ronnie Ingram

It's a Ballynahinch/Ballymena First Trust Senior Cup final at Kingspan on Thursday December 17 (7.30pm) following Hinch's convincing 24-5 semi-final replay victory over Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.

Lorcan Dow, Conor Joyce and Paul Pritchard were outstanding in the home pack while centre Manihera Eden not only made a couple of piercing breaks but also came to the rescue with try saving tackles on two of the few occasions the visitors looked dangerous.

It was Eden who set up Adam Craig for the first before the latter chipped over and won the chase for the line and then added the conversion. Centre Will Stewart helped made it 14-0 before Quins' replacement Peter Cooper narrowed the gap with a try before the interval.

From a line-out Aaron Ferris scurried over in the corner and later, after the visitors had Ali Loughead yellow carded, a penalty into the corner set up John Donnan for the fourth try.

The surprise in UCL 1 was the victory for AIL 2B leaders City of Derry over 2A leaders Malone 32-13 at Judge's Road.

In the other UCL 1 game, Ballymena showed their class beating Armagh 26-7 with four tries, and in the only UCL 2 fixture Dungannon moved to the top of the table with a 35-28 success over Queen's. The Stevenson Park side were 6-10 down at the halfway stage and then 16-28 in arrears but fought back gallantly with Paul Armstrong contributing 20 points with a try, three penalties and three conversions.

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