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Victory still eludes Hinch after last-gasp agony

AIL Division One

Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ballynahinch came the closest they've come to winning on their return to Division 1A, only for UCD to deny them with a heartbreaking last-gasp try at Ballymacarn Park.

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Leinster Academy flanker Ronan Foley crossed at the death for the visitors to hand them a narrow 23-20 bonus point win that leaves Hinch still searching for their first victory and now bottom of the 1A table.

Sean O'Hagan kicked 10 points and had put Hinch ahead with 17 minutes to play when he converted a penalty, but Foley struck at the death to deny them a maiden win in the top tier.

It had started well for Brian McLaughlin's men, who saw O'Hagan and UCD kicker David Moran trade penalties before they went into an early lead when UCD winger Eoin Barr was given a yellow and Aaron Cairns went over for the opening try.

However, the Down outfit then ran into sin bin trouble of their own, skipper John Donnan and Ulster flanker Clive Ross seeing yellow before the interval and their Dublin visitors made them pay.

Sean McNulty, Luke Maloney and Stephen McVeigh all crossed for the students while they had the extra man to send them in at the break more than a score to the good.

The hosts did battle back, however, and they got themselves to just a point in arrears when Ross Adair went over for their second score of the afternoon and O'Hagan converted.

The fly-half then put over what they thought might be the game-winning kick, however there was one late sting in the tail as Foley crashed over with only a couple of minutes to play to hand the visitors the bonus point and the victory.

In Division 1B, Malone got off the mark with their first win of the season as they ran four tries past rivals Banbridge in a 34-17 win at Gibson Park.

Ulster backs Angus Kernohan and Angus Curtis both crossed for the Cregagh Red Sox, who move up to seventh in the table, with captain Ross Todd and Scott Finlay also going over for tries, while Callum Smith added 12 points from the tee.

Neil Kilpatrick responded with a brace of tries for Bann, however they fall to the bottom of Division 1B and remain winless after their opening three games of the campaign.

And there was a first defeat of the season for City of Armagh as they were beaten by Old Belvedere at the Palace Grounds, although they did pick up two losing bonus points in their 28-26 defeat.

Former Leinster fly-half Steve Crosbie kicked 13 points for the Dublin visitors, with Armagh getting tries from Andrew Willis (2), Shea O'Brien and Andrew Smyth in coming away from the tie with two points, although they do slip to fifth with the loss.

SCORES: Division 1A: Ballynahinch 20-23 UCD; Division 1B: City of Armagh 26-287 Old Belvedere, Malone 34-17 Banbridge.

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