Comfortable derby victory for Malone lifts them to fifth spot in league
Malone brightened a dank enough day at Gibson Park with a hugely valuable 22-0 win over local rivals Belfast Harlequins, allowing the victors to sign off for the first part of the AIL's back-to-back encounters - the sides meet again when the league reconvenes in January - in fitting style.
Things looked pretty much wrapped up by half-time as tries from Andy Bryans and Dave Cave gave the home side a 15-0 interval lead over Quins whose tenure in the Division 2A's basement now has a permanent look to it.
However, Malone didn't score again until late on when Phillip Eadie got over the visitors' line and though Paddy Armstrong's squad have now risen to fifth in the table, there will be some frustration at not being able to claim maximum points.
Banbridge came unstuck at Highfield where they lost 26-15 which also saw Dan Soper's squad being knocked from top spot in 2A.
Banbridge will now be gunning for revenge when the sides meet again in January at Rifle Park.
And it wasn't a great ending to this segment of the season for Queen's University either as they went down 24-22 to struggling Cashel at the Dub. The students slipped a place to third and are two points behind Bann.
In 2B, Armagh made it nine wins from nine when they whacked visitors Wanderers 39-11. The side coached by Alex McCloy and Brian McLaughlin are also nine points ahead of nearest rivals Greystones.
Sixth-placed Dungannon were left bitterly disappointed after Old Crescent won 15-14 at Stevenson Park while the misery for bottom side City of Derry continues thanks to their 41-3 pasting at Barnhall.
In 2C, Bangor slipped up again and were on the end of a 51-17 hammering at Sligo as leaders Rainey were also beaten 15-11 at Bruff.
Div 2A: Corinthians 19 Sunday's Well 22, Highfield 26 Banbridge 15, Malone 22 Belfast Harlequins 0, Nenagh 32 Blackrock College 17, Queen's University 22 Cashel 24
Div 2B: Armagh 39 Wanderers 11, Dungannon 14 Old Crescent 15, Barnhall 41 City Of Derry 3, Skerries 11 Bective Rangers 10, Thomond 7 Greystones 45
Div 2C: Bruff 15 Rainey 11, Kanturk 24 Boyne 13, Navan 50 Seapoint 3, Sligo 51 v Bangor 17, Tullamore 14 Midleton 10
A dominant second quarter that produced all their points helped Omagh defeat Coleraine 13-6 to qualify for the Millar, McCaw, Wylie Junior Cup final against Ballynahinch II at Kingspan tomorrow week. This will be their 11th final appearance having won the trophy on four occasions, the last being 24 seasons ago.
Previously undefeated Kukri Division 2 side Coleraine exerted most of the pressure in the first 15 minutes but the stout home defence held. Then a quick move in midfield allowed Omagh to gain ground and an overlap was created for winger Ryan Mitchell to dash in. This advantage was increased when a flat throw in at a line-out caught the visitors out and play was brought close to the Coleraine line where a pop pass to Mark Smyth saw the prop forward crash over. A Neil Brown penalty finished a very productive first period.
After the restart, Coleraine were a much better team and won considerably more possession but failed to take advantage of their scoring opportunities. Their ball carrying was excellent and Omagh had to fight hard to keep their line intact. Coleraine's points came from two Alan Clarke penalties.