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Hinch lifted after elusive league victory

By Michael Sadlier

It was the usual mixture of light and shade really with, at last, something positive from Ballynahinch in Division 1A – courtesy of a first victory – while Belfast Harlequins kept up their winning habit in Division 1B only for both Malone and Dungannon to then rather spoil it all through horribly morale-sapping defeats.

Hinch finally reversed a five game losing streak by seeing off bottom side Garryowen 18-6 at Ballymacarn Park, though the result still sees the Co Down side situated one place ahead of their still winless opponents.

Tries from Ross Adair and Aaron Ferris plus two penalties and a conversion from Ulster squad member David McIlwaine saw Derek Suffern's side finally break their duck in the top flight with them even surviving the sin-binning of Paul Pritchard.

Meanwhile, at Deramore, Quins did just enough to win their third game on the spin. They were, though, given more than ample assistance by the opposition through Conor Kearns' clear inability to score from what appeared to be fairly standard-issue penalties – he missed three in the first-half before being acceptably wide with his conversion of Jack Fitzpatrick's second-half try.

Yes, Quins won 13-8 but that would probably not have been the case had Kearns been able to take his chances. After all, the home side were largely under the cosh at the scrums and also failed to produce quality possession from the breakdown.

Yet Quins somehow contrived to win with Liam Cambridge's first-half penalty – the only score from the first 40 minutes – being followed by Mark Best's try early in the second-half and a Cambridge conversion and penalty.

Quins simply managed to put points on the board when it mattered and basement club Trinity couldn't which is probably why they have yet to win after six games though they did, deservedly, secure a losing bonus point.

The mood was much more sombre at Gibson Park where one from bottom Malone again collapsed to register their fifth straight defeat in going down 32-25 to Blackrock College.

The home side led 18-3 and then 25-10 – their tries coming from a Taylor Acheson brace and one from Peter Henderson – before falling apart.

Elsewhere, Dungannon were shredded in a 50-7 defeat under the Dubarry Park lights.

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