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Ballynahinch only draw as Ulster quartet fail to succeed


Hard defeat: Jacques Benade’s Malone side lost 34-25

Hard defeat: Jacques Benade’s Malone side lost 34-25

Hard defeat: Jacques Benade’s Malone side lost 34-25

This time none of the four Ulster clubs spread across both divisions managed a victory with only Ballynahinch - whose Division 1A clash with Dolphin ended in a draw - actually managing to avoid defeat.

In Division 1A, Hinch failed to bounce back from the previous weekend's defeat at Young Munster by surprisingly only managing to tie the contest 7-7 when they took on bottom and winless side Dolphin at Ballymacarn Park.

Hinch could only score a penalty try off their powerful scrum, converted by Chris Quinn, in what was a hugely disappointing outcome for the misfiring home side.

"Even though it does feel like a defeat, the only positive is that we didn't actually lose," Hinch coach Derek Suffern said and though his side are now in sixth they are still only two points off third place.

Malone's 34-25 reverse at Division 1B's leaders Galwegians saw Jacques Benade's squad slip from fourth to seventh in the table though they might be able to glean something from a second half revival which saw them lead the game after trailing 22-8 at the end of the first period.

Prop Ross Kane's try along with a Josh Pentland penalty was all Malone could muster during the opening 40 minutes, but the Gibson Park side again showed their considerable reserves of fortitude and Adam Liddell's brace of tries drew the sides level at 22-22 half way through the second half. Out-half Josh Bingham then put the visitors ahead with a drop goal but Malone were unable to sustain their momentum any further and Galwegians scored 12 unanswered points which even denied Benade's men a losing bonus.

Even though Malone lost ground, only four points separates Buccaneers who are in fourth from ninth-placed UL Bohemians.

Matters were no better for basement side Belfast Harlequins who were seen off 26-15 at Corinthians which consigned coach Adam Larkin's side to their fifth defeat in seven games and now sees them trail one from bottom UL Bohemians by three points.

One time leaders Ballymena suffered their second straight loss (32-24) at Garryowen.

The visitors came back from 17-3 down at the interval with tries from Mike McComish, Martin Irwin and a penalty try, although they did ultimately concede four touchdowns.

Belfast Telegraph