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Champions Ballymena cruise to win over City of Derry

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballymena are the new Ulster Challenge League champions after a one-sided 69-0 victory over City of Derry at Eaton Park.

Ballymena needed a win to secure the title which Ballynahinch held for the past three seasons and did so with 11 tries.

Derry had hoped the game would have been postponed due to the impending AIL promotion play-offs but the request was refused by the Ulster branch.

The home team built up a 45-0 interval advantage with seven tries. Rodger McBurney was again in destructive form weaving through the opposition at will. He ran in three before being substituted at the interval. Marty Irwin, Callum Patterson, Mark Foster and Glen Bailie also touched down for Ritchie McMaster to convert five.

The trend continued in a shortened second period with further tries coming from Matthew Dick, Johnny Rosborough, James Beattie and Patterson for Bailie to goal two.

Ballymena finished undefeated and sustained no injuries before their continued quest to attain 1A rugby. Their first play-off is at Trinity tomorrow week.

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