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Ballymena on promotion run courtesy of late drop goal

By Staff Reporter

As the games begin to run out - there are three weekends now remaining - the need to get desired results has become the clear priority for all who need them.

The Ulster derby between Malone and Ballymena at a wind and rain lashed Gibson Park was a must-win for both Division 1B sides and for differing reasons with Ballymena still hankering after promotion and Malone now fighting for survival.

And it ended dramatically with Ritchie McMaster's injury-time drop goal sealing the four points for the Braidmen as they prevailed 13-10, robbing Malone of what seemed to be heading towards a draw.

Instead, Jacques Benade's side snaffled themselves a losing bonus point, though their run-in looks rather worrying as they have to face current leaders Galwegians this weekend and the Connacht side's nearest challengers Garryowen at the end of the month.

Also in 1B, Belfast Harlequins racked up an impressive win as they edge closer to safety after a bonus-point 43-6 at Buccaneers.

Quins ran in seven tries with Ulster squad members Rory Scholes, Michael Heaney and Sean Reidy crossing the home side's line as did Marc Logan, Mark Best, Tom Fraser and Willie Stewart.

A victory on Saturday over bottom side Corinthians could see Adam Larkin's squad secure their place in next season's division.

In Division 1A, Ballynahinch shaded matters 18-16 over UCD at Ballymacarn Park and lifted themselves into fourth and a play-off spot, though only on points differential from Cork Constitution who also have 36 points.

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