Ballymena coach Graham warns players

Ballymena's Dave Shanahan
Ballymena's Dave Shanahan

Ballymena coach Andy Graham has warned his players about complacency as the Braidmen continue their promotion push with a trip to relegation threatened Old Crescent.

Galwegians looked to have clinched one of the two automatic promotion spots at the top of Division 2A while Ballymena are third a point behind Barnhall but have a game in hand while Old Crescent are second from bottom.

“It’s never easy in Munster and I think the last time Ballymena played Old Crescent in the All Ireland League was about 15 years ago.

“We were top and went down there with a side full of Ireland and Ulster players while they were bottom but Old Crescent won 9-6 so we can’t take anything for granted,” said Graham.

“We have four games left and they are all going to be cup finals, we can’t afford have any slip ups but it is in our hands and if we win all our games we’ll be promoted but that is easier said than done.

“The boys have trained well this week and it is just a matter of brining it onto the pitch on a Saturday.”

Prop Andrew Warwick and scrum half Dave Shanahan both came through the Ulster Ravens game against Leinster A on Monday unscathed and start.

Ricky Andrew is on the bench for Ulster tonight and isn’t released while full back Timmy Small and centre Jamie Smith are injuried.

Hooker John Andrew faces another week on the side lines but loose forward Matthew Rea has recovered from a knee injury.

David O’Hara starts at out half with Glen Bailie switching to full back while former Ulster Junior Chris Watson comes onto the bench.

Three consecutive defeats have left Queen’s promotions hopes dangling by a thread even though the students are four points behind second placed Barnhall

The students travel to west Limerick to face Bruff who are all but relegated as they have only won once in 12 outings.

Justin Rea starts at out half with Ritchie McMaster a member of the Ravens squad on Monday is named among the replacements.

Loose forwards Marc Campbell and Lorcan Dow are rated doubtful after picking up knocks for the Ravens.

Full back Damon Hall and winger Paddy Colhoun are also injury doubts.

Rainey will be at full strength for the visit of Highfield to Hatrick.

The Old Boys are 10th and welcome back flanker Johnny Lees from suspension while half back Michael Pyper also returns to the squad.

Highfield need won win to make sure of their Division 2A status next season.

Four consecutive wins have lifted Banbridge up to sixth in the table but they charge has come too late to get involved in the promotion battle.

Dan Soper’s side travel to Donnybrook for a clash with 11th placed Bective who beat Rainey last time out.

City of Derry are sixth on points difference four of the promotion places.

After a defeat at leaders last time out Derry will hop to make home advantage count as mid table Cashel make the long trip from Tipperary to Judges Road.