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Ulster's Nelson shines on return from injury as Hinch take high five

By Michael Sadlier

It was, all told, a pretty decent weekend for both Ballynahinch and Ballymena in AIL Div 1B with the former taking a bonus point win at home and the Braidmen drawing under lights at leaders Buccaneers.

It was also a very significant Saturday for Ulster squad member Peter Nelson who turned out for Hinch and, in doing so, got his first game-time since suffering a foot injury playing for the province back in December 2015.

The 24-year-old utility back gave a good account of himself in Hinch's club colours against Dolphin and set up one try before touching down for the fourth to secure the side's bonus point.

With Ulster back in action on Friday week - against Edinburgh in what is a nailed-on must-win - Nelson's return to fitness, and some sort of form, will be very useful indeed for Les Kiss.

Indeed, Nelson may yet see more AIL action this Friday evening when Hinch are at Eaton Park to meet Ballymena.

Hinch led 13-8 at half-time, after going behind early on, through tries from Justin Rea and Davy Nicholson.

David Busby got over next before Nelson crossed for the fourth and the game ended with Callum Irvine scoring Hinch's fifth for a convincing 30-8 win that takes them up a place to fifth, one point behind Old Wesley in third.

Even though Ballymena will be reasonably pleased at the way they came back from trailing 13-0 at Dubarry Park to tie the final scoreline at 13-13, they now find themselves having dropped two places to sixth but are just a point back from Hinch and Naas in fifth and fourth respectively.

It had all looked to be going wrong for Andy Graham's men on Saturday evening after they coughed up those 13 unanswered points to the home side.

But the second half saw a dramatic turnaround in the Braidmen's fortunes with Richie McMaster starting things rolling with two early penalties.

Then Mark Best - stretchered off the last time the sides met at Eaton Park in December after an off-the-ball incident - intervened and was taken out without the ball after chasing his own kick. The referee awarded a penalty try and McMaster converted and it ended all square.

1B: Ballynahinch 30 Dolphin 8, Shannon 17 Galwegians 14, UCC 9 UL Bohs 18, Buccs 13 Ballymena 13

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