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Depleted Hinch aim to continue Cup adventure

By Staff Reporter

Ballynahinch and Belfast Harlequins, two sides that have failed to record a win in their first seven AIL fixtures, meet in the semi-final of the First Trust Senior Cup tomorrow afternoon.

However, like the other two semi-finalists - Ballymena and Queen's - they will be weakened by Ulster and Ireland commitments.

Holders Hinch have 18 players on the injury list and eight unavailable due to representative duties but will still be the favourites at Deramore Park.

David McGuigan makes his return in the No.7 shirt, as does Thomas Donnan at No.8. Player/coach Adam Craig fills in at full-back and William Stewart is back after injury in the centre to partner Stuart Morrow.

Hinch have Conor Joyce, Paul Rowley, Sam Windsor, Jonny Murphy, Kyle McCall, Jonny Simpson and Ruairdhi Murphy in the Ulster A squad and Aaron Cairns with the Irish Sevens.

Ulster A's Mark Best has accumulated many points for Quins so his absence could be crucial.

Queen's don't have strength in depth so face an uphill task at Eaton Park. Despite being without Ulster A's Robert Lyttle and Johnny McPhillips, their back-line will still be formidable but it is up front where Ballymena should dominate.

Sol Herdman will be given his chance in the middle of the Queen's front row and Ulster Under-20's Hugh Sloan and Marc Campbell will be in the second row. The back row has yet to be finalised.

Ballymena will miss Ulster A winger Roger McBurney and centre Callum Patterson, two players who have scored many tries and helped them to the top of the AIL 1B table.

Belfast Telegraph


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