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Bann keen to finish on a high

By Ronnie Ingram

Published 03/05/2016

In hand: Stephen Irvine will be trying to protect Banbridge's unbeaten streak
In hand: Stephen Irvine will be trying to protect Banbridge's unbeaten streak

Banbridge have already secured their place in UCL 1 next season but are aiming to finish their campaign with victory against Rainey in their final Division 2 game at Rifle Park this evening (7.30pm).

Should they avoid defeat, they will make the jump on the back of an unbeaten record rather than on points difference.

Bann, who will have Stephen Irvine to the fore, make a number of changes with a new front row of Lee Geddis, Andrew Jackson and Ross Haughey.

In the back row, Ulster Under-19 squad member Robin Sinton plays at seven. Cameron Cromie comes into the centre for Johnny Little and Gareth Houston replaces captain Adam Irvine after they picked up respective injuries during the recent game against the Ulster Juniors.

Jason Gribben, who has been on the bench for most of the season, is given a chance at scrum-half.

Rainey have lost their last seven games and have already suffered relegation to Division 2C. The Magherafelt side will have next season's captain Johnny Lees back in action at No.7 after he missed the last game with a head injury.

Also in the pack, 19-year-old Aidan McSwiggan is an outstanding prospect at prop while it is hoped that Tommy O'Hagan will be released by the Ulster Academy.

The visitors will be fielding a strong squad with some inexperienced players and young Scott McLean, who has been performing well, will again be at out-half.

Malone, meanwhile, have been relegated from UCL 1 but with Bangor joining the senior ranks there are currently 11 teams in the league for next season. Logically it would be better to have six in the top section, so Malone may be given a reprieve.

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