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Queen's defy irregular line-ups to hit top three

By Ronnie Ingram

Queen's have been weakened more than most by commitments to the Ravens and age-group inter-pros and internationals so it is a tremendous achievement for them to move up to third in the 2A table after a 38-16 win over Bective.

"It has been difficult at times to field a settled team but nevertheless we have only been beaten twice," director of rugby Robbie Moore said.

"Back in September, in our first game in the competition, we took a disjointed team and lost at Thomond 32-20, a side now in the bottom half of the table. The other defeat was also away, 31-21 at league leaders Old Wesley who are still undefeated.

"On Saturday I thought we were much better than Bective and it was rather one sided until the final 15 minutes. At that stage we brought on all our replacements which meant playing our hooker in the back row and a prop on the wing"

Queen's built up a 19-3 interval advantage with tries by Eoin Devlin, Luke Steele and Damon Hall for Justin Rea to goal two. Later Peter Storey, Ali Wright and a second from Hall concluded the try scoring with Rea adding two more conversions. Gearoid kicked three penalties for Bective and late on added the points to a consolation score from Rob O'Brien.

Also in 2A, two yellow cards in the final five minutes put paid to Rainey's hopes of coming away from Cashel with a draw, losing 23-10, while Dungannon, trailing by exactly the same scoreline at the interval against Banbridge, conceded five tries in the second half to lose 52-10.

In the day's other fixture, City of Derry lost 27-23 to Blackrock but the precious bonus point keeps them five above the three teams level on points at the bottom,Bective, Dungannon and Seapoint.

In 2B, Armagh managed a bonus point at Ards but the 40-11 winning margin rather flattered them in an over rumbustious encounter which resulted in each team having a player red carded.

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