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Hinch have had big confidence boost in survival bid: McAleese


Key figure: Clive Ross is available for Ballynahinch
Key figure: Clive Ross is available for Ballynahinch

By Michael Sadlier

While two straight wins have considerably boosted Ballynahinch's hopes of survival in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League, they now face a stern tests at leaders Cork Constitution.

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Con have won all six rounds of games, though they have only collected one try bonus along the way and are 13 points ahead of Hinch, who are down in eighth.

Even so, after last week's break Brian McLaughlin's squad will be making the lengthy journey south with some confidence after their victories over Lansdowne and Dublin University.

The dramatic 35-34 win at Trinity last time out, even though it was in the balance until the end, has also bolstered Hinch's morale regarding being successful on the road.

"Our first win (over Lansdowne at home) has helped us, and we'll also take confidence out of winning at Trinity as well," said 'Hinch director of rugby Harry McAleese.

The Co Down club were boosted at Trinity by having Robert Baloucoune, who scored a hat-trick of tries, and Bill Johnston, and though both are now with Ulster, McLaughlin has Kyle McCall and Clive Ross on board.

Sean O'Hagan returns at out-half and George Pringle is likely to be in for Baloucoune.

In Division 1B, City of Armagh are also in Cork where they too are facing table-topping Highfield, who also happen to have won all six games played.

However, Willie Faloon's squad are looking to halt a two-game losing streak which has seen them fall from third to sixth, and they are only too aware that a very special performance will be needed.

Armagh, who have Harry Doyle and Chris Colvin back, are also hoping to put in a much better showing than two weekends ago when they shipped 40 points at home to Old Wesley.

"That's two on the bounce we have lost and we definitely need to pick up a win again and try to get moving back up the table," said Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker.

"We have won there before and we know what we have to do," he added.

Malone, in seventh, host bottom team Navan and need to bag a victory after falling in their last two outings.

Eighth-placed Banbridge are at home to Old Belvedere and will be confident of digging out a result.

1A: Cork Constitution v Ballynahinch

1B: Banbridge v Old Belvedere, Highfield v City of Armagh, Malone v Navan

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