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Hinch ship heavy loss as Armagh and Bangor beat the weather

Try in sight: Armagh’s Chris Colvin sprints to the line
Try in sight: Armagh’s Chris Colvin sprints to the line

By Michael Sadlier

While the huge efforts at Bangor and Armagh to get their respective home games played are more than worthy of mention, it was still difficult to ignore what transpired in Limerick.

There, on the back pitch at Thomond Park, Ballynahinch's tenure at the top of Division 1B ended after seven days when Shannon avenged their defeat at Ballymacarn Park by signing off until the New Year by pummelling the Co Down side 49-19.

The Munster men returned to top spot and crossed the now second-placed Ulster side's line seven times.

Brian McLaughlin's squad had travelled without eight players who were otherwise engaged with Ulster 'A' and, though Shannon were also weakened, Hinch went 21-0 down before full-back Conor Kelly's first half try.

Even though winger Patrick Wright's score narrowed Shannon's lead to 28-17 early in the second half that was as good as it got with centre Tom Rock only getting over in injury time.

Banbridge stayed in third in 1B ahead of the festive break after doing the double over Dolphin by winning 16-11 in Cork.

Eighth-placed Ballymena's revival came to a halt when they played the return game at Old Belvedere, losing 26-7.

In 2A, Malone stayed top after winning 31-17 at Corinthians, however Queen's University were beaten again by Greystones, this time 36-12 in Co Wicklow and dropped from fourth to fifth.

Also in 2A, Armagh's efforts managed to get their game played at the Palace Grounds where they beat Cashel 37-19 and rose up to fourth.

Over 30 volunteers ensured that Bangor's 2C clash with Sligo went ahead but the mammoth effort at Upritchard Park still didn't bring a much-needed win.

Still, they didn't lose and came back from trailing 20-3 to level the game 20-20 with the table-toppers and stayed in sixth.

Omagh did avenge their defeat to Malahide, in Tyrone, when they were victorious 19-12 lifting them to third.

Belfast Telegraph


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