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Braidmen aiming for top spot

By Michael Sadlier

With just one defeat to their name, Ballymena's season has a very healthy look to it and this should really continue this weekend when struggling UL Bohemians visit Eaton Park.

The second-placed Braidmen trail leaders St Mary's College - the only team to have beaten them so far - by a solitary point and coach Andy Graham's squad intend to keep up the pressure by delivering against Bohs.

Graham has a strong-looking line-up with Bronson Ross, Stephen Mulholland, Clive Ross and Dave Shanahan all in the starting side along with the in-form Callum Patterson.

At the foot of the table, Belfast Harlequins have managed to amass two points so far so the 10th-placed side's need to turn things around is now urgent.

Quins travel to fellow strugglers Blackrock College who are in eighth but yet 10 points in front of the Deramore side. If ever Quins needed an elusive win then it is now.

Quins' coach Adam Larkin should have Ulster players Lewis Stevenson and Rory Scholes available for the trip to Dublin while Paul Jackson is also involved.

Meanwhile, things are just as tense at the bottom of Division 1A where Ballynahinch are at the point where their fortunes have to change if they are to escape becoming even more isolated in the table's basement.

Hinch have yet to win and find themselves seven points adrift of ninth-placed Galwegians who happen to be their opponents on Saturday.

So, this encounter down in Galway has must-win written all over it for Derek Suffern's embattled squad.

Hinch have Ulster second row Peter Browne released to them as well as regular players Paul Rowley, Jonny Murphy, Jonny Simpson, Craig Trenier and John Donnan.

But the Co Down side have a few issues in the back row - Paul Pritchard is injured and David McGuigan with Ireland Sevens - and in their backline where Robin Harte, Will Stewart and Adam Craig all have knocks and Sam Windsor is unavailable.

Belfast Telegraph


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