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Full-strength Instonians set their sights on reclaiming AIL status

All-Ireland Round Robin

Instonians have earned a third opportunity to reclaim their All-Ireland League place after an absence of five seasons but must now face the other Junior Inter-Provincial title holders.

Their first hurdle in the round-robin competition is against Leinster's Enniscorthy at Shaw's Bridge tomorrow.

Inst clinched the Kukri Division 1 title last Saturday to be Ulster's representatives after they defeated Cooke 30-18 and favourites Ballyclare came unstuck against Dromore at home 17-13.

In 2015 they finished third in the round-robin and last season fourth, but this time they have the advantage of two home fixtures against Enniscorthy and Munster's Clonmel, but are away to Connacht's Connemara.

Director of Rugby Anthony McKibbin says that they will be fielding the strongest squad they have had all season.

"Matthew Kilpatrick returns to the backs after being out with a hamstring injury and he will be joined in the centre by captain Davy Scott," he said.

"Both players have had a fantastic year, and with former Ulster scrum-half Paul Marshall combining with Richard McCarthy, an efficient and creative half-back partnership has been created.

"We are confident but realise it will be tough as Enniscorthy, like ourselves, have only lost one league game and that was also their first game of the season.

"We have improved and become sharper with every outing, but with two games to follow over the next fortnight we must start with a win and hope for no injuries."

Enniscorthy, who only played 14 fixtures in their league programme as opposed to Inst's 18, gained a boost by winning the Leinster Junior Cup on Sunday against Gorey 20-5.

In the other game, Connemara travel to Clonmel.

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