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Ballynahinch are hungry for win at leaders Clontarf

By Michael Sadlier

Two games in and basement 1A side Ballynahinch are in the unenviable position of going in search of their first win at, of all places, table-topping Clontarf.

After last weekend's rare home defeat, which saw Hinch cough up 47 points against UCD, the need to hit back is now uppermost in the Co Down side's thoughts.

"We've drawn a line under it and moved on," coach Derek Suffern said of last weekend's collapse to the Dublin students when his charges conceded seven tries.

"It's far from panic stations. We've spoken about it and the boys have to react. We've just got to get on with things and I don't believe we'll perform as badly as that again," he added.

Hinch at least have a strong team with prop Ruairdhi Murphy released from Ulster and Kyle McCall also makes a welcome return from the injured list.

Conor Joyce is also released and will make up one third of a back row which will include Michael Graham and skipper Paul Pritchard. James Simpson joins John Donnan in the engine room.

Behind the scrum, Ulster's new signing Paul Rowley has shaken off an ankle problem and will start at scrum-half on his AIL debut. Richard Reaney is expected to be at out-half with Willie Stewart returning to play centre in a new midfield which should include Robin Harte while Adam Craig is expected to tog out at full-back.

In Division 1B, Ballymena aim for a third victory on the bounce when they host Dublin University. The second-placed Braidmen have a strong line-up with flanker Clive Ross, second row Alan O'Connor and hooker John Andrew all released from Ulster.

Meanwhile, winless Belfast Harlequins are away at 1B leaders Old Wesley (ko 4.30pm).

Belfast Telegraph


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