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Momentum is crucial for Suffern

By Michael Sadlier

The AIL returns today for the final time before the New Year with Ballynahinch aiming to back up their recent good form by accounting for Young Munster at Ballymacarn Park.

Coach Derek Suffern's side have been impressive recently having beaten Division 1A leaders Terenure and then, last week, went on to lift the First Trust Senior Cup with an efficient display against Malone so the focus is now on continuing their run and hopefully improving on their current seventh place in the table.

After today, five of Hinch's remaining eight games are away from home so Suffern knows that they must make this clash with fourth-placed Young Munster count as they are just three points behind them and in with a very real shout of making the play-offs.

"This is important to keep our momentum going," said Suffern.

"We are at home and we have two decent wins behind us so we're going into this one confident and there is a lot to play for."

Hinch are boosted by the return of forwards Kyle McCall, John Donnan, James Simpson and Charlie Butterworth who are all back after spending time in and around the Ravens.

The backline, though, is a different story with Sam Arnold with the Ireland U20s, Richard Reaney and Stuart Morrow not available and Robin Harte still injured.

In Division 1B, second-placed Ballymena will be eager to sign off 2014 with a third straight AIL victory when they visit Corinthians which, if achieved, should keep them in pursuit of Galwegians.

The Braidmen have Dave Ryan, Ricky Andrew and Dave Shanahan back from the Ravens.

Bottom side Belfast Harlequins - in mourning after the death of Fintan Hillyard - host UL Bohemians and Malone are under lights at Buccaneers (kick-off 7.30pm).

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