Queen's and Ballynahinch set for Senior showdown
Ballynahinch will face Queen's in the First Trust Senior Cup final at Ravenhill on Wednesday, December 11.
Ballynahinch gained their expected victory over City of Derry at Judges Road but the scoreline of 23-15 indicated how closely contested it was.
In fact Derry were within a score of their opponents until they conceded a late penalty.
Richard McCarter was a late cry-off for Derry and they took the lead with a well-executed try when a move to the left by Adam Brattan and Simon Logue made ground.
The ball was brought back and William McCleery linked with winger Josh Lewis who just managed to dive over for Neil Burns to convert.
Hinch came back to take a 17-7 interval advantage when centre Jordan Grattan and replacement Andrew Harper scored tries for Adam Craig to goal both and add a penalty.
Burns and Craig then exchanged penalties before Derry brought it back to 15-20 when, following a catch and drive, Davis Ferguson crashed over. Craig later added a third penalty.
Derry CMO Moss Dineen thought it was an enjoyable contest between two good teams.
"The conditions deteriorated as the game progressed and the result was in the balance right to the end," he said.
Queen's trailed Banbridge 5-7 at half-time but dominated the later proceedings to record a 21-7 success at Upper Malone.
Michael McCauley had an outstanding performance for the students scoring the first try.
Bann forced their way back and sustained pressure was rewarded when Jonny Graham touched down for Adam Doherty to goal.
McCauley set up the home team's second try for Robert Whitten, which was converted try.
They kept up the momentum and Bann gave away penalties for McMaster to be successful with three.
Robbie Moore, the Queen's Director of Rugby, said: "It was a tight game but Bann didn't have their share of luck in the first half and deserved to be further in front.
"I thought we stuck to our task and our second half efforts warranted the victory."