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Ulster Senior League: Dungannon can grasp chance to go top of the league

A nmber of teams will be weakened due to representative commitments but Dungannon should still move to the top of the First Trust Ulster Senior League table as the undefeated City of Derry are without a game.

Presently, Derry have 24 points from their five fixtures — three more than Dungannon, with Ballynahinch a further point adrift.

An under strength Dungannon should still be too strong for Ards at Hamilton Park. The home team won their first AIL game last Saturday against Navan, but make a few changes. John McLaughlin is out so Andy Todd returns to the wing after injury. In the pack the back row is now Stuart Ferguson, Ryan Diver and Stephen Minnis.

Ballynahinch should keep their unbeaten Senior League run although they may not repeat their recent 77-0 First Trust Senior Cup win over Banbridge.

Bann's Johnny Murphy is in the Ulster Ravens squad so Paul Ross is included at hooker. It is hoped that Simon McKinstry will be on the bench, while Johnny Martin starts in the second row.

Nigel Farr has a knee injury so Shandon Scott is included at scrum-half.

Hinch will be making few alterations. Chris Napier was unable to play last weekend due to a neck injury and he is still out so Adam Craig will be considered.

Malone's Josh Pentland suffered a dead leg at Corinthians so he is rested for the trip to Queen's. Michael Hall played for the last 10 minutes and came through.

The students will start without Ian Henderson and David McGuigan, with Paul Karayiannis also doubtful. Conor O'Neill returns to the back row and Gareth Morgan plays at hooker.

Instonians are virtually out of the competition with only one success in three outings so the opportunity is being given to younger players.

In the remaining game Ballymena have had to make nine changes so Belfast Harlequins have an opportunity to win their second game in the competition.

Ross Hackney, Paul Pritchard, Tommy Seymour, Luke Marshall, Johnny Shiels, Dan Tuohy, Simon Shawe, Blane McIlroy and Conor Kearney are out, so Quins, much improved over recent weeks, could cash in and pull off a surprise.

Belfast Telegraph