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Winless Harlequins are eager to seek derby fillip

By Michael Sadlier

A week on from one Ulster derby and it's time for another as Belfast Harlequins attempt to undo the hurt of last Saturday's home defeat to Ballymena by taking the short hop to Gibson Park where Malone await them.

After two defeats – they have a losing bonus to their name from their first game at UL Bohemians – Quins are naturally rather eager to experience their first taste of victory in Division 1B and should have Ulster prop Ricky Lutton on-board for his comeback game as the eighth-placed side seek to begin moving upwards.

"Neither of us need much motivation for this one," coach Adam Larkin said of what is sure to be a hotly contested clash.

"We won there last year and then they went and beat us at home.

"It's still early days, but we don't really want to be waiting any longer for our first win."

Fifth-placed Malone, who narrowly lost last week at Corinthians after opening up with a victory over Buccaneers, are looking to rack up a second home win of the campaign and along with regular Ulster releases Alan O'Connor and Conor Joyce they are hoping to have hooker Paul Jackson back from injury.

Malone coach Jacques Benade does have a number of Ulster underage players available for selection, one of whom could well be Josh Bingham.

Ballymena impressively moved into second place after getting the better of Quins last week and they host winless Dublin University with plenty of confidence that they can secure a third victory in as many games.

In Division 1A, Ballynahinch are on the road to winless Cork Constitution where they will be seeking a second successive victory after last weekend's impressive home comeback victory over Old Belvedere.

Hinch, who are in sixth, are without Stuart McCloskey and Ruaidhri Murphy who are in Zebre with Sam Arnold and Stuart Orr the leading candidates to replace them.

Belfast Telegraph

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