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Dungannon and Derry face basement battle

By Jonathan Bradley

There is a huge Ulster derby at the foot of All-Ireland League 2A as Dungannon travel to Judge's Road to face City of Derry.

Dungannon's improvement in recent weeks was abruptly halted last time out, but in truth they will have expected little from high-flying Blackrock's visit.

In contrast, this will be a game they will target given that their Ulster rivals are rooted to the foot of the table and, with the restructuring of the All-Ireland League coming at the end of this season, battles at the bottom have taken on an increased significance.

The men from the north west almost secured a morale-boosting win in the Ulster Senior Cup last weekend but ultimately fell short against Ballynahinch, while they have won only one of their AIL 2A contests this season.

Elsewhere in the division, Banbridge will be looking to build on their upset of NUIM Barnhall last time out when they travel to face Skerries at Holmpatrick. Daniel Soper can name an unchanged side but the Dubliners are sitting sixth in the table and each of their three wins have come with an accompanying try bonus point.

Rainey Old Boys will also be afforded the relative luxury of sending out an unchanged line-up when they meet Bective Rangers.

Having beaten Naas last time out, they will be optimistic of securing victory at Hatrick Park and welcome back fit again former Ulster 20 captain Michael Shiels to their bench.

One team who received little positive team news was Queen's who will once again be missing a host of players when they travel to UCC. The Ravens' trip to Leeds has deprived head coach Bob Young of Jacob Stockdale, Jack Owens, Conor Young and Sean O'Hagan from his backline.

In AIL 2B, Armagh, who have lost a little momentum, face a tough game against Midleton, while Ards' battle to avoid relegation takes them to Highfield.

Belfast Telegraph

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