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Ritchie Haire happy with holders Clogher Valley's form

By Ronnie Ingram

On paper it would appear that the holders of the Powerade Towns' Cup, Clogher Valley, are not faring so well this season. But when their results are scrutinised the four games that have lost have been by less than four points.

In Qualifying One they are second having lost to Instonians 19-17 after a yellow card deprived them of victory when they were leading 17-3 with minutes remaining.

The result against Portadown was 10-9 and Bangor 16-12 before they lost again at Upritchard Park in the All-Ireland Junior Cup 9-6.

Ahead of tomorrow's hosting of Coleraine, manager Ritchie Haire feels they are just as good as last season but a few poor decisions led to those defeats.

"Coleraine have always been a difficult side to defeat and looking at their League position they have nothing else to play for this season," he said.

"We will be making three changes as second row forwards Eugene McKenna and Paddy Robinson are injured, as is centre Davy Dunlop. David Sharkey, Alastair Trenier and Nathan Orr will come in while our captain and scrum-half Aaron Best, who sustained a broken nose at Bangor, will return.

"We are hoping to retain the Cup and if we keep winning League bonus points then we face Instonians at home in the last game of the season and that could well decide the Q1 title," he concluded.

Powerade Towns' Cup Second Round: Larne v Ballymena II, Portadown v Dromore, Donaghadee v Holywood, Armagh II v Bangor, Enniskillen v Ards II, Carrickfergus v City of Derry II, Banbridge II v Ballynahinch II, Clogher Valley v Coleraine.

Belfast Royal Academy followed up their first round Danske Bank Medallion Shield 33-5 win over Carrickfergus Grammar with a 22-0 success against Regent House in a tie moved from frozen Roughfort to Ben Madigan.

"It was a strong overall performance and the management skills were superb," said coach Neil Irwin.

"We took the lead following a pick-up from a ruck which led to our captain Shane Martin running through a couple of defenders from halfway to go under the posts for Robert Daly to convert".

Daly kicked a straightforward penalty to give his side a 10-0 interval lead and after the break centre Josh Hegarty then took a brilliant line to run in from 45 metres to touch down.

Daly converted and in the last five minutes Martin broke through tackles for his second.

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