Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby Club Rugby

Bann and Derry out to revitalise bid for top spot

By Michael Sadlier

Published 26/03/2016

Tight margin: Daniel Soper's Bann are top by a single point
Tight margin: Daniel Soper's Bann are top by a single point

The prize of automatic promotion is still very much up for grabs as Banbridge and City of Derry head into their penultimate games in Divisions 2A and 2B respectively.

Both clubs have been setting the pace in both divisions but have recently been struggling to put together the wins needed to assure them of automatic promotion without having to do so via the play-offs.

Bann coach Dan Soper - fresh from his back-to-back Schools' Cups with RBAI - is determined to get the Co Down side over the line, though they are just one point ahead of nearest challengers Naas.

Soper's squad - who last time out ended a two-game losing run by tanking bottom side Thomond - are at struggling Corinthians who have, though, managed to win their last two games.

The other matches in 2A see Malone, who are in sixth and likely out of the top-four running, hosting Bann's nearest rivals Naas while Queen's University are at Thomond.

City of Derry's troubles in 2B have been much more marked with their once seemingly unassailable lead now whittled away thanks to four consecutive defeats.

Indeed, coach Terry McMaster's squad will more than likely not even be top of the pile when they tog out at eighth-placed Bective Rangers thanks to Highfield and Sunday's Well having played last night.

"That's maybe the incentive we need to get ourselves back on the horse," said McMaster of Good Friday's Cork Derby.

"It's still in our hands and if we win our last two games then we've got automatic promotion. If not, then we're in the play-offs."

Also in 2B, ninth-placed Rainey Old Boys are at Barnhall and John Andrews' side look to be heading towards a relegation play-off.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Armagh host Greystones while Dungannon, in seventh, are at already relegated Seapoint.

Belfast Telegraph

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph