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Ballynahinch aiming to stay in the hunt for silverware

Though hardly ideal timing, thanks to a certain Six Nations, Saturday afternoon sees the Bateman All-Ireland Cup's semi-finals being played out with Ballynahinch hosting Clontarf (kick-off 4.30pm).

The Co Down side expect to be pretty close to full strength for the game though prop Ruaidhri Murphy is out injured and Richard Reaney looks likely to be at out-half in Harry McAleese's continued absence.

With Hinch battling for a play-off place in Division 1A, and last season's AIL champions Clontarf virtually there, there is a possibility that league requirements may just be on everyone's minds but, even so, the lure of some form of silverware is still something worth striving for.

"We play them again in a few weeks' time (at the same venue in the AIL)," said Hinch coach Derek Suffern, "and we hope to get a psychological boost from this as well as stay in the hunt for silverware."

Hinch's bullet-proof home record in the league makes them favourites to make it to the cup final.

In the other semi-final Buccaneers host reigning cup holders Cork Constitution (also at 4.30) with the Munster side going for three-in-a-row this season.

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