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Champagne time as Queen’s seal deal

By Ciaran Donaghy

Queen’s fittingly sealed promotion to Division Two with some champagne rugby that yielded nine tries and a 59-7 victory at a sun kissed Merrion Road against Wanderers.

The students have amassed an impressive 10 bonus points from 12 wins and were the only team in the top four to win, meaning they only need a draw at home to Sunday’s Well in their next game to clinch the Division Three championship.

“Going up with to games to spare is excellent. It’s a great feeling for the coaching staff and for the boys and it really is quite something. It’s the first time Queen’s have been in Division Two and we feel elated,” said director of rugby Robbie Moore.

“I thought the rugby against Wanderers was super and good enough to satisfy any spectators.

“We knew we want to go to Dublin and get a win and despite losing guys in key areas we knew we could always score tries and Wanderers just couldn’t live with our pace.”

Queen’s had the game wrapped up after 26 minutes by scoring four tries, captain Mark Robinson going over first after five minutes.

Winger Stuart Campbell went over in between two tries from full back David McIlwane with tries from Matthew Arniell and Robinson’s second give the students a 38-0 half time lead.

Prop Paul Karayiannis got the first try of the second half with Campbell and McIlwane completing the rout.

Portadown produced one of the shocks of the season by inflicting a first defeat of second placed Midleton. The 22-17 win lifts Hika’s Reid side to within two points of Naas in the fight to avoid the relegation play-off. Craig Woods was the inspiration for the Chambers Park club scoring two tries in a personal haul of 17 points.

Banbridge’s outside chance of promotion all but ended as they went down 14-10 at Suttonians.

The Rifle Park club are nine points behind Midleton and the sides meet at Town’s Park in the next round of matches with the Cork side just needing to avoid defeat to join Queen’s in Division Three.

Rainey ensured their senior status for next season with a 39-17 Ulster derby win over Instonians at Hatrick Park. Inst led at the interval with tries from Seamus Mallon and Josh Devitt but the Old Boys hit back after the break with prop Neil O’Kane going over twice and wingers Andrew Campbell and James McBride also touching down.

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