ALL IRELAND RUGBY: Lifeline for Ballynahinch in survival challenge

Aaron Cairns scored twice for Ballynahinch

Aaron Cairns scored twice for Ballynahinch

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Miracles do happen - just ask Ballynahninch.

Bottom of the Ulster Bank Division 1A table since the opening week of the campaign in October they needed a handsome five match point win at home over Garryowen and Galwegians to pick up nothing on their travels to Cork Constitution if they were to avoid the drop.

Written off in the build-up, the Co Down men produced their part of their bargin in scoring nine tries as they walloped Garryowen 59-5 at Ballymacarn Park.

Galwegians duly picked up nothing in their 26-16 loss to Cork Con and it was the former who were relegated.

Hinch are still not out of danger, but they at least have the lifeline of the Division 1A/1B play-offs to maintain their top flight status in the All Ireland League.

Derek Suffern’s side will now face Buccaneers, who finished fourth in Divison 1B, in the play-off semi-finals on Saturday.

Hinch’s mission to squeeze past ‘Wegians on scoring difference looked a long way off at half-time when they led Garryowen by just 14 points.

But they went through the gears as they took advantage of three Garryowen yellow cards in the second half.

They had a -44 points differential to erase and with ‘Wegians losing their grip on a 16-12 lead in Cork, ‘Hinch coasted to victory as Cairns (2), Lorcan Dow, Jonny Simpson, Craig Trenier, Windsor, Zack McCall and Davy Nicholson all crossed the whitewash, in addition to a penalty try.