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Students are aiming to kick ahead

By Michael Sadlier

Published 05/12/2015

Heat of battle: Alex Thompson is available for Queen’s
Heat of battle: Alex Thompson is available for Queen’s

Queen's University gave their season a timely boost last weekend when beating Malone, toppling their rivals off the summit, but now the Students face another substantial test when they meet present leaders Banbridge at the Dub.

With the sides due to cross swords again next weekend at Rifle Park - as with the upper tier, the fixture list goes back-to-back - Queen's are eager to replicate last Saturday's performance.

The Students, who are now in fifth, are missing back rower Nick Timoney as the Ulster Academy player is on Sevens duty with Ireland, but they do have regulars Rob Lyttle, Jonny McPhillips and Alex Thompson on board and prop Brian Cunningham returns to the squad from a one-match suspension.

Queen's coach Bob Young said: "Everyone knows that Banbridge are a really good team.

"We'll have a good go and we'll take the positives from (beating) Malone but we'll need to improve to beat Banbridge."

As for Bann, coach Dan Soper is eager to get an away win as all three of their defeats have come on the road and he has a settled side which sees Shandon Scott coming back into the match day squad following injury.

"It will be very tough," said Soper.

"They have a lot of quality in their side and there really isn't much between the top six."

Now in third, Malone are at Skerries aiming to atone for last weekend's slip-up to Queen's.

In 2B, leaders City of Derry host Rainey Old Boys for what looks like a tasty Ulster derby.

Elsewhere, fourth-placed Armagh welcome bottom side Seapoint to the Palace Grounds and Alex McCloy's men ought to get what they want from this encounter while Dungannon's game with Sundays Well has been postponed.

Belfast Telegraph

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