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Coach Suffern looking for momentum from Ballynahinch

By Michael Sadler

Published 12/11/2016

Heading west: Mark Best is part of a strong Ballymena side at Galwegians
Heading west: Mark Best is part of a strong Ballymena side at Galwegians

With this being the last block of AIL games for a fortnight the importance to finish the segment on a high note is clearly uppermost for both Ballynahinch and Ballymena. It was a case of contrasting fortunes for both last week.

Fifth-placed Hinch put the brakes on what had been a two-game losing run by impressively coming from behind to win with a bonus point at Galwegians while the Braidmen managed to register their second successive defeat when narrowly losing out at home to Old Wesley.

For Hinch coach Derek Suffern the goal is to keep their newly found form going by managing a victory at home.

"After the disappointment of losing to Naas (at home), and then after doing so well at Galwegians, we need to finish this block on a high," Suffern said.

"We must get the same attitude that we got last week in Galway.

"We don't seem to start too well (in games) and it's become a bit of a habit to be under our sticks early on, so a good start is of high importance this week," he added.

While Hinch expect to have Craig Trenier, Jonny Murphy, Lorcan Dow and John Donnan on duty from Ulster they will be missing Conor Joyce, Sam Windsor and Mo Simpson.

Scrum-half Angus Lloyd is also absent as he is with Munster on a short-term loan.

Aaron Cairns may also be a doubt for Suffern while Johnny McPhillips looks likely to be missing as he is in camp with Ireland U20s.

Ballymena will be wanting to replicate Hinch's showing from last week as, this time, they are the ones at Galwegians.

After losing three of their last four games, Andy Graham's now sixth-placed outfit badly need a positive outcome.

The Braidmen are at least heading west with a reasonably strong side and though without the injured Kieran Treadwell they do have Andy Warwick, Alan O'Connor, Stephen Mulholland, Dave Shanahan and Mark Best all released to play from Ulster.

Div 1B: Ballynahinch v UCC, Dolphin v Naas, Galwegians v Ballymena, Old Wesley v Buccaneers, UL Bohemians v Shannon

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