RUGBY: Ballynahinch begin quest for historic fourth Senior Cup success

Omagh Accies' Adam Longwell gets caught around the neck by Harlequins' David Devine with Mervyn Edgar and Daniel Annett looking on
Omagh Accies' Adam Longwell gets caught around the neck by Harlequins' David Devine with Mervyn Edgar and Daniel Annett looking on

Ballynahinch begin the defence of the Ulster Senior Cup away at Belfast Harlequins.

Hinch have lifted the trophy on the last three occasions and are bidding to become the first side to win four in a row since North in 1896, the Belfast club went on to win seven on the bounce.

The Ballymacarn Park club lost to Armagh on the opening day of the senior league and Director of Rugby Ronnie Duncan is looking for an improved performance at Deramore.

“We were beaten by the better team on the day and it will take a few games to settle in, it will be a tight game at Quins as they seem to be under a bit of a revival,” said Duncan.

“We have a chance to make history but it will be a tight year.”

Ross Carlisle is injured so Tim Cousins will come into the backline with Will Stewart staring in the centre,

Tom Rock is unavailable, Conor Piper will get a run at hooker while Ollie Loughead faces his former club

Two sides that have never won the Cup meet at Hatrick Park as Rainey entertain Banbridge. The Old Boys are hoping for a better showing up front after defeat at Bangor.

Stephen Rutledge, Tim Barker and Paul Pritchard all start in the pack, outhalf Gavin Martin faces a late fitness test while Josh McIlroy starts in the centre.

Lock Caleb Montgomery who spent last season in France at Narbonne is available for Bann after being released by the Ulster Academy.

Queen’s will be hoping to repeat last week’s league victory over Dungannon as the two clash again at their home ground - the Dub.