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Ballynahinch are drawn to retaining their Ulster Senior League title

By Ronnie Ingram

A draw for Ballynahinch in this evening's Ulster Senior League game at Armagh will ensure they retain the league crown but should they suffer defeat, a home victory over City of Derry in their final game would be required.

Hinch will be weakened by injuries and Ulster Ravens commitments but will start as favourites to come out on top.

Adam Craig and Kyle McCall have been called up by Ulster's second string against Munster A at Banbridge this afternoon.

Also missing will be Johnny Simpson, who has a broken finger, while Ross Adair and Chris Quinn have hamstring problems.

Hinch are still undefeated in the competition but Armagh will be no pushovers as they have kept pace with their Down rivals throughout the course of the season and have only lost once - a 21-19 reversal at the hands of Ballymena at Eaton Park back in December.

They also have the best defence in the competition, having only conceded 61 points with the next best team being Hinch, who have given away nearly double that total with 120 points.

The home team will also be weakened as their influential out-half Mani Eden has returned to New Zealand and Seamus Mallon is unavailable.

Lorcan McGillen will play at No 10 and Stuart Lester takes Mallon's place in the centre.

Hinch Director of Rugby Richard Hart said: "Despite the absentees, coaches Derek Suffern and Charlie McAleese have been able to create strength in depth across our squad and have faith that the team will deliver at Palace Grounds."

In the other League game, Ballymena will be determined to overcome Queen's on their home patch.

A victory for the Braidmen and defeat for Armagh would secure a second-place finish.

Belfast Telegraph


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