Banbridge chief Daniel Soper expecting tough Corinthians test

Daniel Soper
Daniel Soper

Banbridge and Queen’s both won on the road last week and will be looking to build on those victories in their first home games of the season.

Banbridge beat Malone last week and host Corinthians at Rifle Park (4.30pm) the side Queen’s defeated in Galway on the opening day.

Bann coach, Daniel Soper, was satisfied to leave Gibson Park with a 23-20 win as his side played the last quarter with 14 men.

“We could have had a bonus point but I was pleased to hear the final whistle and being down to 14 men didn’t help but it was our first ever AIL game against Malone, it was away and I’m happy to get four points,” said Soper.

“It shows how important a good goal kicker is in this league.

“We left seven points out there missing two conversions and a penalty that would have put us 17-0 up instead of 10-0. Malone got a couple of scores and 10-0 became 10-8 at half time instead of 17-0.

“If you don’t score points when you’re in the ascendancy you risk what happened to us.”

Queen’s took maximum points in Galway but Soper feels a wounded Corinthians could be dangerous.

“Last year we won our first game and thought we were heading for greatness then lost our second game at Queen’s,” added Soper.

“I won’t read much into the result last week. Sides that lose come back stronger.”

Soper is forced into one change for last week’s victory, Adam Doherty is ruled out with a hamstring injury so John Porter comes onto the wing with Adam Ervine switching to full back.

Queen’s top the table as they were the only side to claim a bonus point last week and host Thomond at the Dub (1pm).

Coach Bob Young is forced into two changes with centre Connor McKee and Johnny Milliken are unavailable.

Stuart McIlwaine faces a fitness test on his shoulder while Paddy Colhoun is also contention to start with Paddy Farrell in midfield.

Damon Hall and Jack Milligan are vying for the full back shirt.

Josh Fullerton and Ali Wright continue at half back while the pack remains unchanged.

Malone travel to Naas (4.30pm), Philip Eadie comes in a tight head prop while scrum half Shane Kelly faces a late fitness test.”