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Super Ballynahinch edge closer to claiming league crown

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballynahinch IV are only one win away from clinching the Junior 2 title following their narrow 14-10 victory over Clogher II.

They have had a very successful season having only lost once, to Larne II 24-6 and drawn with Lisburn II 6-6. Larne are the only team that could overtake them but they would need to be successful in all their remaining six games.

Hinch captain Danny Carson was not overly thrilled by their efforts.

Carson said: "Clogher were big and strong up front so it was a contrasting style of game as we prefer to spread the ball wide. We gave away an easy try and did not make full use of the wind but still came away with the two points in a close game.

"I lost the toss and Clogher elected to play into the elements which helped them to a 10-6 interval lead. Matthew Norton had kicked an early penalty for us before a poor pass gave them the opportunity to score."

The ball went to ground, which led to home captain Andy Breen running in for the try which Stevie Bothwell converted. Just before half-time a scrum infringement allowed Bothwell to add a penalty.

Hinch had most of the possession and territory in the third quarter and their try came after an interception by Carson.

It followed a scrum in the Clogher half, the captain kicking on for the last defender left with no alternative but to run the ball into touch close to the try line.

Following a line-out and a few phases, an overlap was created and flanker Nicky Jones crossed far out to give the visitors a one point advantage.

Carson added: "Shortly afterwards we were awarded a penalty around halfway but following a bit of back chat it was given 10 metres further forward and was within Norton's range and he made no mistake.

"In the remaining 15 minutes, Clogher created a number of chances but our defence held.

"Our forwards put in a lot of work. Second row Philip Broome and ex-Marine Niall Montgomery were fit and strong and the back row of Nicky Jones, Gareth Rea and Michael Davidson created a few turnovers.

"In terms of defence, our man of the match was centre William Edgar, who had to pull off some try preventing tackles."

Hinch are in the quarter-final of the Crawford Cup but have to wait the result of the Portadown II/Rainey III tie.

They have only two league games remaining, at home to Banbridge III at the end of March who they have already beaten 11-7, and the away fixture at Bangor II has still to be re-arranged. They won the home game 17-6.

Belfast Telegraph

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