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Soper demands huge surge from Bann to sink Dolphin

 

By Michael Sadlier

Coming unstuck at Old Wesley wasn't part of the plan and after losing by a mere point, Banbridge coach Dan Soper will be seeking an immediate reaction from his squad this weekend when they host bottom team Dolphin.

"It was the one that got away," said Soper, whose side slipped a place to fourth after the defeat on Wesley's artificial surface at Donnybrook.

"We just left a number of chances out there and we were very soft in defence. But saying that, we came within a final kick of winning it," added the Kiwi.

As for taking on Dolphin in the first of their back-to-back games as the AIL hits the halfway point, Soper reckoned that his squad ought to be up for the challenge.

"I would like to think, based on last weekend's result, complacency won't be an issue," he said.

"I would hope we get a reaction from the players."

Selection-wise, Soper will be without injured duo Nick Hayes and Conor Field.

It's first against second when Shannon rack up at Ballymacarn Park to meet a Ballynahinch side brimming with confidence after their victory at UCC.

Hinch should be largely unchanged from last Saturday with only Jack Regan missing out while Aaron Hall - who made his senior Ulster debut last week - has a knock and has not been released.

Brian McLaughlin ought to be able to deploy Aaron Cairns, Johnny McPhillips, Peter Browne, Zack McCall, Rory Butler and David Busby.

"It was a fantastic result for us," said director of rugby Ronnie Duncan of the result at UCC. "The guys worked for 80 minutes down in Cork but there is no point in turning up at Ballymacarn and not delivering."

Struggling Ballymena welcome Old Belvedere to Eaton Park with the Braidmen now down in ninth and badly needing a result against the Dublin side coached by Eddie O'Sullivan.

Ballymena coach Andy Graham has Dave Shanahan, Brett Herron and Adam McBurney released by Ulster.

Div 1B: Ballymena v Old Belvedere, Ballynahinch v Shannon, Banbridge v Dolphin, Naas v Old Wesley, Bohs v UCC

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