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Suffern urges faltering Hinch to show clinical edge

By Michael Sadlier

After last week's deflating home draw with bottom side Dolphin, Ballynahinch are intent on putting things right when they head for Dublin to face Clontarf today (kick-off 2.00pm).

With next week seeing Hinch return to domestic matters, coach Derek Suffern's squad will also be determined to get a result from Castle Avenue to halt a less than pleasing recent sequence which saw them lose at Young Munster seven days before last Saturday's drab 7-7 draw with Dolphin.

And with Hinch in sixth and a mere two points away from third-placed side Young Munster, there is still much to focus the Co Down side's minds as they meet last season's champions, who are two places above them.

However, Hinch travel to Dublin without Ulster squad members Ruaidhri Murphy and Charlie Butterworth, who are both sidelined with injuries, though second row John Donnan does at least return to club colours.

In the backline, Harry McAleese is likely to start while it was hoped that Stephen McCauley and Steven Honey would be fit to play.

"We did take positives out of having so much possession (against Dolphin) but now we need to be much more accurate against Clontarf," said Suffern.

"We want the same set-piece domination that we had against Dolphin but we must have more accuracy with the ball in our attack," he added.

In Division 1B, Ballymena entertain Shannon and the Braidmen will also be eager to get back to winning ways as the one-time leaders have managed to ship two straight defeats.

Ulster squad member Dave Ryan is released and will make his debut at tight-head prop while Ricky Andrew is also with his home club and is likely to start at centre.

Bottom side Belfast Harlequins are back in Galway this weekend and could hardly have a tougher task ahead of them as they take on league leaders Galwegians.

Quins have Neil McComb and Michael Allen in the side with Allen making his return from a dislocated shoulder he picked up at the start of last month playing for the Ravens.

"It's a tough assignment this week but as I keep saying to the team, anyone can beat anyone in this league on their day," coach Adam Larkin said.

Elsewhere, seventh-placed Malone are hosting Garryowen, who are in third, and do so without the injured John Creighton, who is a new addition to their lengthening injury list.

Belfast Telegraph


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