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Hinch favourites to clinch Harden crown

By Ronnie Ingram

The final knockout competition of the season will be contested at Dromore this evening when Ballynahinch III face Dromore II in the Harden Cup (7.45pm).

The trophy is contested by the winners of the six Junior Divisions, so the victors can truly call themselves the best junior team in Ulster.

This is the last time the Cup will be contested in this format as next season it will automatically be awarded to the Junior 1 champions.

Dromore overcame Ballymena III twice in four days to reach this stage. In the second of those ties, which was a play-off, they needed a penalty in extra time to emerge Junior 3 champions.

They were given a breather when Inishowen pulled out of the semi-final but Hinch will provide another difficult hurdle.

In Division 1, they were undefeated after 17 games and easily won their Harden Cup semi-final 24-7 at Malone III.

They will include scrum-half Johnny Murdock who had an outstanding game at Gibson Park while centre Jordan Graham will be another player to watch.

Dromore welcome back scrum-half Scott Nelson while it is hoped that versatile forward Kyle Copeland will have recovered from a hamstring problem.

They have a strong backline, including the influential Matty Russell at out-half, while their centre partnership of Michael Allen and Graham McCandless is equally as fast.

It should be an entertaining tussle with Hinch starting favourites, although Dromore have an outstanding home record.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph