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Banbridge boss dreaming of perfect start

By Ronnie Ingram

Banbridge kick off their AIL campaign next weekend so a Senior League win against Dungannon tomorrow afternoon would be the perfect boost, especially after their disappointing 23-18 loss against City of Derry on Saturday.

Coach Daniel Soper expects a big improvement. He said: "The main difference between Derry and ourselves was that we were lethargic and they ran in a couple of good tries.

"We need to up our game as we know Dungannon, after being relegated last season, will be strong and determined to bounce back. We face them in the AIL just before Christmas so a win now would boost our confidence."

Bann make a few changes as Ryan Patterson and James McCrum are not available, so Johnny Weir and Colin Bickerstaff come into the pack. Using the rotation basis in order to assess as many players as possible, Adam Ervine will be at full-back and Miles O'Hagan on the wing.

"It is also important that we start the AIL positively, unlike last season when we lost our first five games after finishing third in the table the year before.

"We are going to take one game at a time and we know our first outing against Cashel, even at home, will be challenging as they defeated us 26-13 last year," the Kiwi concluded.

Dungannon will start without their promising second row Ross McCaughey, who sustained a knee injury in the first minute in the 31-15 defeat at Malone and is still receiving physiotherapy treatment. No 8 James McMahon is not available.

In the other League encounter, City of Derry should be too strong for an Ards side that has already conceded 128 points in their first two defeats.

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