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Classy Hinch lift Junior crown

Ballynahinch II 17 Omagh Academicals 3

By Jonathan Bradley

Ballynahinch secured their eighth Miller McCall Wylie Junior Cup when their second string triumphed 17-3 over Omagh at Kingspan Stadium last night.

It could be the start of a memorable week for the club, who are back at the home of Ulster Rugby tomorrow for the Senior Cup final with Dungannon.

Two tries were enough for Hinch, neither side managing a score in the second half.

With both sides turning over possession in their early line-outs, Hinch captain Kenny Morton elected for the posts after eight minutes when Omagh were pinged for holding on.

Patrick Wright's lengthy effort came up short and, when the opportunity next presented itself, the County Down side went for the corner.

Again, however, a jumper at the tail was overthrown.

It was only a temporary reprieve though and with 13 minutes on the clock, a take by Hinch ace Andrew Simpson set up a catch and drive score for hooker Ben Pentland.

Omagh's only response came after 20 minutes, a penalty from Neil MacLaine following their first period of pressure.

Hinch had a chance to extend their lead when they tried to repeat their first successful try only to lose the ball forward in the transfer, but they did quickly add another Wright penalty.

And in what was the final play of the opening period, Hinch grabbed their second try of the game.

Callum McLaughlin was the beneficiary, set over the line by good hands from William Stewart, and Hinch were in control at 17-3 up at the turn.

After a number of penalties awarded against both sides, referee Chris Busby lost patience in the second half, sending Hinch substitute Gareth Gill to the bin.

Omagh, who had their ball slowed well all night, could make little headway with the extra man though and, when Gill returned, Hinch looked sure to score again.

Omagh, who last won this trophy in 1993, kept the game alive, however, with strong defence on their line to force a penalty.

Ultimately it would not matter and indeed the final margin could have been more such was the class of the Ballynahinch men.

OMAGH: A Beckett, R Mitchell, A Stephenson, A Heaney, N Brown; N Maclaine, S McCain; K Alexander (capt), M Hopton-Brown, M Smyth; J Sproule, J Sproule; D McFarland, A Longwell, J Catterson.

REPLACEMENTS: D Thompson, M Edgar, D Porter, L Murphy, Y Taleni.

BALLYNAHINCH IIs: P Wright; A Ferris, W Stewart, C McLaughlin, C Orr; R Wilson, J Murdock; S Orr, B Pentland, C Stevenson; K Morton (capt), A Simpson; B Howard, G McKittrick, K Dixon.

REPLACEMENTS: B Cullen, A Gordon, G Gill, B McMullen, R Kerr.

Belfast Telegraph

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