Champions ballynahinch break Dee run to revel in sweet revenge
It was sweet revenge for new Minor East 2 champions Ballynahinch VII on Saturday as they beat Donaghadee II - the only team to defeat them in the league all season - 37-7 at Ballymacarn Park.
It was a much changed Dee team from that which gained a 20-19 victory at Donaldson Park in September and their task on this occasion was made much more difficult when they were reduced to 14 players in the first period.
Hinch captain Clem Bassett thought the first quarter was keenly contested before his side began to win more possession for their back three to show their pace.
"Despite their deficit in numbers, Dee never gave up although they did appear to tire towards the end," said Bassett. "Peter McKee scored three of our tries and James Gregg two. Our top try scorer Jason Barr was again on the scoresheet while Matt Shields converted three."
Dee will finish fourth in the table and will have learned a lot from their trip to Hinch. Their captain Andy Monson said: "Our pressure resulted in a penalty try which was goaled by Graeme Gowdy. Despite the handicap I thought we squared up well to our opponents."
Some of Dee's league performances may have been disappointing but in the Butler Shield they have gone from strength to strength.
After eliminating Civil Service II 50-0 they took on the challenge of an away tie at Malone IV and came out on top 15-8. Now they are in the final at Kingspan on Saturday week to face an Armoy side that finished third in East 1.