Junior Cup Final Preview
Ballynahinch 2nd XV vs Armagh 2nd XV
Thursday 21st December
Ballynahinch 2nd XV will attempt to retain the coveted Junior Cup on Thursday night as they take on Armagh 2nd XV in the decider at Kingspan Stadium.
Their form has dipped of late, with a year-long unbeaten run coming to an end last month versus Dromore and with a defeat to Carrick in the latest Conference League match on Saturday.
However, they continue to grind out results when it really matters and this has been in evidence during the Cup run, with narrow victories over Instonians and Malone getting them out of jail despite below par performances.
The Hinch backline continues to sparkle with the right service and it will be up to the forwards to subdue a strong Armagh pack. Back rowers Gareth Gill and Graham McKittrick have carried hard all season and will hope for support from the likes of Stuart Orr and Calvin Hamilton in the front row. Veteran backs Aaron Ferris and Davy Harris will be hoping to use all their experience to guide the youngsters behind the scrum to another Cup win.
The League game between the sides a few weeks ago was a dour affair, with neither side willing to overplay their hand so close to the final.
Nevertheless, Ballynahinch won by 17 points to 10 and will be very happy with a similar result on Thursday night. Ian Dornan’s men have the advantage of having played regularly in these type of games over the past few seasons and will be hoping that their experience gets them over the line.
Last year’s exceptional five trophy season was always going to be difficult to repeat, but retaining the Junior Cup could be a catalyst for the side to kick on after Christmas, and Hinch have always had a reputation for being a great Cup side.
All support at Kingspan stadium will be gratefully received.