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Braidmen remain in running for play-offs

By Michael Sadlier

Published 27/02/2016

Losing streak: Andy Graham hopes side can bounce back
Losing streak: Andy Graham hopes side can bounce back

Three defeats on the bounce have certainly focused minds at Ballymena as the Eaton Park side's aspirations to finish top of the pile have been badly shaken.

Instead, Andy Graham's men now sit in third spot and are 11 behind leaders St Mary's College with four regulation games to go.

It certainly looks as if the Braidmen may have to content themselves with a play-off place for their promotion aspirations though they also really cannot afford to slip up again even though Old Wesley and Buccaneers are respectively 11 and 13 points behind them.

Ballymena host sixth-placed Shannon though, rather worryingly, two of the defeats in their current sequence of three reverses have been at Eaton Park though, admittedly, last weekend's tumble at Blackrock College was the most surprising of all their recent difficulties.

As for Ballynahinch and Belfast Harlequins they are both still stuck to the bottom of 1A and 1B respectively with time running out if either one of them is to dodge the automatic drop.

Hinch agonisingly lost by a point at Young Munster while Quins suffered the same fate at Dolphin, though the Co Down side are in far ruder health when it comes to escaping their situation as they trail ninth-placed Terenure College by just five points, though the Dublin side do have a game in hand.

Hinch travel to Old Belvedere while Quins are also on the road at top four-chasing Buccaneers.

"Anything that could have gone wrong for us last week went wrong with both Terenure and Galwegians winning," said Hinch coach Derek Suffern.

"We really need to get four points on Saturday to keep the dream of staying up alive."

Meanwhile, Quins look all but gone from 1B as they trail ninth-placed UL Bohemians by 14 points with just the four games to play.

In Division 2B, eighth-placed Rainey Old Boys meet Sunday's Well in a rearranged fixture with the Magherafelt side - who have games in hand eager to make their way up the table from their current position.

Belfast Telegraph

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