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Ballynahinch II eager to regain the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup, admits James Kirk

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Pulling the strings: Ballynahinch II will look to the influence of James McBriar. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkins

Pulling the strings: Ballynahinch II will look to the influence of James McBriar. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkins

©INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkins

Pulling the strings: Ballynahinch II will look to the influence of James McBriar. Credit: INPHO/Presseye/Freddie Parkins

The Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup is a trophy Ballynahinch II feel they partly own after winning four of the last 10 finals, so they are determined to have their name back on the silverware.

After a poor start to the season with two losses, they are now on an upward trajectory having won four of five outings and drawn with Instonians and will start favourites to defeat Carrickfergus, especially at Ballymacarn Park.

Club chairman James Kirk said: “This is a trophy we really want to win again.

“Leagues are important but it is the cup competitions that we are aiming for. For years it was the senior clubs’ seconds that dominated but recently the junior clubs have been in the ascendency.

“Armagh II and ourselves appear to be the only teams left flying the flag as most of the others have struggled.”

Ballynahinch Firsts are without a game but the first three AIL fixtures have taken their toll injury-wise, so eligible players for the Seconds will be rested.

“James McBriar is an exceptional player with a steadying influence on the team and will be directing from out-half while Adam Gowdy has made an impeccable start at full-back,” added Kirk.

“Eamon McAnulty has been impressive in the centre while the three others expected to progress in the future are the front-row of Matthew Connolly, John Dickson and Kelvin Hamilton.”

Instonians are the only undefeated side in Kukri Conference Division 1 so with home advantage will be expected to advance at the expense of Lurgan.

Director of Rugby Clem Boyd puts the success down to a lot of hard work, the return of a number of players and the help of former Ulster ace Louis Ludik.

“The health of the club is excellent with the return of Matthew Keane, Zac Davidson, Neil Saulters, Mark Mairs and Mark Keane.

“We are actively looking for new recruits and are adding an Under-21 side and in the future a Girls’ team,” he stated.

Fixtures: Ballymena II v Donaghadee, Ballynahinch II v Carrickfergus, City of Armagh II v Ards, Coleraine v CIYMS, Instonians v Lurgan, Larne v Lisburn, Limavady v Banbridge II, Malone II v Grosvenor, Portadown v Cooke, Rainey II v Randalstown.

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Byes: Clogher Valley, Enniskillen, Ballymoney, Ballyclare, Omagh II, Dromore.


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