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Braidmen hit the top with handful of tries

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballymena are the new Ulster Senior League leaders after a five-try, 31-13 victory in their rearranged game against Armagh.

The Braidmen, who are also joint leaders of AIL 2A, lead Ballynahinch and Rainey by a point with Queen's, who hammered City of Derry in Saturday's other league game, a further point in arrears.

The Eaton Park side led 12-8 at the break and dominated most of the second half. Director of Rugby Peter McKenzie said: "Our hard running and superior strength found plenty of gaps and Mike Entwhistle in particular had an outstanding game and fully deserved to be man of the match."

Matthew Johnston (2), Willie McKay, Darryl Montgomery and Entwhistle scored for Timmy Small to goal three. Darryl Morton and Philip Fletcher touched down for Armagh and Richard Reaney had a penalty.

The try scorers for Queen's in their 50-15 win were Damon Hall and Michael McCauley with two each, Ryan Clarke, Conor Spence, Stuart McIlwaine and Grant Bartley with Justin Rea converting five.

Derry's Neil Burns kicked a penalty and goaled one of the tries by Jack Caithness and Simon Logue.

Queen's Director of Rugby Robbie Moore summed it up by saying: "Our backs were too powerful and they missed a number of tackles.

"Stuart McIlwaine was tremendous in the centre with his defending and attacking and was involved in at least four of the tries."

Ballynahinch II are the new favourites to win the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup after Ulster's two remaining representatives in the Irish Junior Cup, Clogher Valley and Portadown, were both eliminated.

Hinch, last year's beaten finalists, had a 27-18 win over Portadown and the holders Clogher Valley lost at Ballyclare 8-6 at Ballyclare.

In the other ties Ballymoney recorded a 15-9 victory over Donaghadee and Coleraine defeated Grosvenor 29-7.

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