RUGBY: Big kick-off for Ballyclare

THE preliminaries are over and done with, so now it’s down to the nitty-gritty of the league campaign for Ballyclare Rugby Club.

Willie Logan’s senior side’s Kukri Qualifying League 2 programme starts on Saturday afternoon at Mullaghmeen, where points have traditionally been hard to come by against Enniskillen.

Chief coach Bob Young and his assistants have been pleased with the attendances at the pre-season training sessions, and hopes are high of finally securing a return to Qualifying 1.

Last season a sluggish start during which points were lost was the main reason for being pipped at the post by Donaghadee, so the focus will be firmly on getting off to a winning start in County Fermanagh.

Several of last season’s 2nd XV have been showing up well in training sessions so the team that lines out for the opening fixture could contain a couple of new faces.

Three of the club’s four senior sides will be in action, with the 2nd XV involved in a tasty local derby with Carrick II at Woodlawn, while Ballyclare IVs will entertain Carrick Vs at The Cloughan.

The Under 19s will also be in action when they host a friendly with their Lurgan counterparts at The Cloughan.