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Ulster Senior League: Nine-try champs send out strong message

The new Ulster Senior League season kicked off with a total of 42 tries scored.

The most convincing performance came at Shaw's Bridge where holders Dungannon overwhelmed Instonians 58-17.

The champions had a strong team on display whereas the home side had nine new players.

Dungannon led 27-10 at the interval but as their superior forwards started to dominate possession they added a further five tries bringing their total to nine.

Ballynahinch, who came so close to winning the title last year, were another team to gain a bonus point, at the expense of Queen's 27-21.

This was a closely fought game with the students taking an 18-point lead before the more experienced visitors piled on the pressure after the re-start.

Robbie Moore, the Queen's Director of Rugby, was pleasantly surprised with his team's efforts: “It was an encouraging effort especially as a number were playing together for the first time, coupled with the fact that there were a large number of absentees.” Queen's scored two tries to ‘Hinch’s five.

Armagh, in their first game back in the Senior League, also gained a bonus point, against Ards 47-13.

They managed seven tries with Matthew Irwin scoring three and Andrew Willis two. Ards had a penalty try and two Mark Banford penalties plus a conversion.

Malone were without seven regulars against belfast Harlequins at Gibson Park, and although they held the visitors to an 11-10 half-time lead, they were well beaten 46-15.

Two converted first-half tries laid the foundation for City of Derry’s |19-7 home win over Banbridge, and Ballymena, after scoring 14 points in the first half, went on to beat Rainey |27-12 at Hatrick Park.

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