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Crunch time for Ballymena's Ulster Championship dream

By Ronnie Ingram

Ballymena will clinch the Soni Ulster Championship League crown for the 13th time if they defeat City of Derry at Eaton Park this evening (8pm).

If the Braidmen lose, however, then Ballynahinch and City of Derry will fight for the title in the final game in UCL1.

Ballymena currently have 12 points from three games, Ballynahinch have 10 from three and Derry have five from two. Hinch have been the champions for the past three seasons but the 31-26 defeat to Ballymena back in August could prove decisive.

Ballymena make a number of changes with prop Brian Young returning, while Ian Caldwell will be in the second row and Mark Foster behind him.

Glen Baillie comes in at scrum-half and Calum Patterson returns to the centre. On the wing, Johnny Rosborough replaces the unavailable Jordan Foster.

Both sides will be conscious of their AIL promotion play-off games on Saturday week as Ballymena aim for 1A status and Derry target 2A.

A request was made to the Ulster Branch (IRFU) Competition Committee to have the game postponed in view of these fixtures but it was rejected.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph