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Classy Ballynahinch on title march

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballynahinch took another step towards retaining the Ulster Senior League title with a crushing 58-15 win over Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park.

The undefeated Ballymacarn Park team have now disposed of most of their main title rivals apart from City of Derry, who they meet in March.

They took a 30-3 interval lead and ran in seven tries with Chris Quinn in his usual accurate kicking form with all the conversions and three penalties. Hinch Director of Rugby Richard Harte said: "Our best try was just after the restart at a Quins' line-out inside their own '22'.

"Kenny Morton contested well to win the ball and linked with Daniel McGuigan. He managed to break through a tackle and charged up the pitch for the line with the Quins defence unable to catch up. Paul Pritchard made a useful contribution and scored a try at the end of each period."

Towns' Cup holders Clogher Valley advanced to the third round with a 25-0 win over Coleraine.

Coach Ritchie Haire stated: "They never really threatened and the return of our injured skipper Aaron Best made a big difference. His leadership gave us confidence and he scored the final try. We scored five tries through Paul Armstrong, David Sharkey, Ryan Wilson, Kyle Cobane and Best," he added.

Portadown coach Richard Hedley was delighted with his team's 35-11 success over Dromore. He said: "The tie was always in the balance until the final 15 minutes. There were only eight points in it at that stage but we pulled away."

Bangor play in the Irish Junior Cup final against Dundalk at Portadown on Saturday and they lost to Armagh II 30-24.

Other results: Larne 14 Ballymena II 55, Donaghadee 41 Holywood 17, Enniskillen 57 Ards II 0, Banbridge II 6 Ballynahinch II 42.

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