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Dungannon are now in superb shape to stun Harlequins

By Ronnie Ingram

Dungannon have suffered a couple of lean seasons but under the new coaching set-up of Andy Hughes and Seamus Mallon there is a renewed confidence and enthusiasm which, through time, should help the club repeat some of its past glories.

Hughes has worked wonders with Armagh over the past four seasons, helping them to promotion, while former Ulster and Northampton Saints centre Mallon has been scoring more than his fair share of tries, formerly with Instonians and then with Armagh.

Their workmanlike combination helped the team to a convincing 21-0 UCL victory over Rainey at the weekend after a few new skilful players made their mark.

Paul Armstrong, who helped Clogher Valley to many of their successes, was at out-half and contributed three penalties and a conversion.

Another talented player to join is former Armagh captain Mark Liddell who will be in the back row alongside No 8 and captain James McMahon.

A promising start to the season for the Stevenson Park outfit but they still face an uphill struggle to eliminate Belfast Harlequins from the First Trust Senior Cup tomorrow afternoon in an intriguing first round tie.

In the other tie Armagh travel to face City of Derry at Judge's Road.

The visitors showed real grit to come back from a 27-15 deficit to overcome Malone 39-27 with their latest addition Jamie Pollock converting four of their five tries and kicking two penalties.

This will be Terry McMaster-coached Derry's first competitive outing and they introduce a new back row of Steven Dickey, John Burns and former L'derry YMCA No 8 Craig Huey.

First Trust Senior Cup: Belfast Harlequins v Dungannon; City of Derry v Armagh.

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