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Ballymoney hoping to cash in

By Ronnie Ingram

The McCambley Cup is one of the most sought-after pieces of silverware in the Minor League with this season's 48th running of the competition culminating in the final at the Kingspan Stadium on April 23.

Much rugby will be played before that showpiece event and hoping to go one better this time around will be Ballymoney IV, who have suffered no less than six final defeats.

They start with a first round tie at Enniskillen III this afternoon and captain John Waide says his team, who lost the 2015 decider 29-3 to Malone V, lacked pace in their backs.

"We have rectified that problem with the half-back partnership of Stewart Nevin and Ryan Brace," said Waide of the Kilraughts Road men, who currently sit in second place in Minor East 1.

"We managed to gain revenge for that defeat when we travelled to Malone in October. We scored five converted tries but before that we lost two of our first three fixtures in September.

"We are not a young team so have an abundance of experience with players like wing forward Jason Taggart, who coached the Firsts, and former City of Derry player Sam McAuley.

"As the season has progressed our standard and try scoring ability have improved partly due to speedy wingers Neal Johnston and Andy Foster.

"They are two determined players who we could well have done with at the Kingspan in the final."

Malone V's triumph was the first time they won the trophy outright and they are already in this year's second round.

McCambley Cup: Antrim v Strabane II, BHSFP II v Ards III, Ballynahinch VII v Coleraine III, Carrickfergus IV v Armagh IV, Civil Service II v Donaghadee III, Clogher Valley III v Belfast Harlequins IV, Donegal Town II v Omagh IV, Enniskillen III v Ballymoney IV, Holywood II v Armoy, Larne III v Portadown IV, Letterkenny v PSNI II.

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