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Clogher Valley need victory to keep hopes alive

By Ronnie Ingram

An injury-hit Clogher Valley must win their final game at Kanturk in the AIL Round-Robin Tournament to keep alive their hopes of playing in AIL 2B next season.

Presently they are lying in third place in the table on four points with Kanturk on six and Wanderers on eight.

The Dublin side will be expected to win at OLBC who have already lost their first two games and thus gain automatic entry to the division.

That would leave either Clogher or Kanturk to face a play-off at Instonians for the final spot.

"We have had a very exhausting season and something needs to be done about the number of matches," commented Clogher manager Ritchie Haire.

"We have played 10 more than either OLBC or Wanderers and that means an extra two months rugby so injuries are inevitable.

"We will have a completely different front row as Philip Moore, Rodney Bennett and Richard Primrose are all on the sidelines. Out-half Philip Holme, centre David Dunlop and David Sharkey will also be absent.

"Being successful in the league and having long runs in the All-Ireland Junior Cup, Junior Cup and Towns' Cup has its consequences in that we are not fielding our strongest team on Saturday and have had to dig deep for our replacements."

Early in the season Clogher eliminated their opponents in the AI Junior Cup 10-9 but that was at home with a much stronger team.

"We will travel with optimism and give it our best as we always do but we know the task involved," added Haire.

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