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Glory days for Hinch and Malone women at Kingspan

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballynahinch IV clinched the Crawford Cup at Kingspan yesterday with a 24-20 victory over Grosvenor II in what could prove a glittering season for the club.

Yesterday's triumph comes on the back of their Seconds' retention of the Junior Cup in December, and the Firsts are still well in contention for the AIL 1B title.

It was a closely contested game at the Kingspan but the experience of the Hinch team told in the end after Grosvenor's nervous start had resulted in a 21-3 interval deficit.

Josh McMullan put the Gibson Park team in front with a try goaled by James Gillespie but Grosvenor winger Tim McMullan reduced the arrears with a penalty. Hinch's dominance against their younger opponents then led to converted tries by Chris Orr and Mark Douglas.

The half-time talk did wonders for Grosvenor as they came out fighting and managed to reduce the gap to only four points.

After a number of phases, out-half Stewart McIlwaine weaved through for McMullan to add the points and then kick a penalty.

Hinch retorted with a Gillespie penalty but the Castlereagh boys were far from finished. When Hinch were reduced to 14 players, Grosvenor took advantage when No.8 Daniel Bowden finished off a catch and drive move from a line-out for their second converted score.

However, the damage was already done and Hinch took the trophy.

Earlier, Malone Women ran in four tries in their 31-3 Junior Cup final victory over Ballynahinch.

They built up a 19-point advantage after Brogain Ni Chiarrain touched down after two minutes for Ella Durkan to goal.

Three minutes later, Durkan bagged an individual converted try before Eimear Hagan crossed. Alexa Grudgings kicked Malone's only points before Hagan crossed for her second, also converted.

Five minutes into the second half, Neve Jones added Malone's fourth try to wrap up success.

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