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Soper urges Bann to keep cool and clinch title glory

 

By Michael Dadlier

A date with destiny awaits Banbridge as they will be crowned Division 2A champions if they can beat lowly Sunday's Well in Cork.

Dan Soper's table-topping squad lead nearest challengers Highfield by just two points but top spot and automatic promotion to Division 1B will finally fall to the Rifle Park side if they can rack up their 13th win of the campaign on the last weekend of regulation games.

And with Sunday's Well unable to improve on their ninth place, Bann look to be in an ideal position to take the title.

Not that head coach Dan Soper sees it that way, and the Kiwi is not letting his squad entertain any notion that the title awaits them.

"It's up to us to show that we have learned over the last two or three years, when we have been in similar situations, and that we can go and finish it," he said.

Meanwhile, in Division 2B, Armagh still have an outside chance of grabbing the title should they beat Bective at the Palace Grounds, though the odds are that they will finish runners-up to Greystones - who they trail by one point - as the Wicklow club should win at home to Old Crescent.

Second place for Alex McCloy's squad would mean they host a play-off semi-final against the club finishing in third, which will either be Wanderers or Old Crescent with the Dublin club the more likely opponent.

Elsewhere in 2A, Malone look set for fourth and they will have their play-off semi-final with the side who end up ninth in Division 1B.

Paddy Armstrong's squad are at Cashel while fifth-placed Queen's University finish up by hosting Highfield and already relegated Belfast Harlequins are at Nenagh.

The remaining games in 2B see City of Derry in a shoot-out at Skerries with the loser ending up in ninth, with the unwanted result of a play-off semi-final against 2C's Tullamore. Dungannon end their season at Barnhall.

In 2C, Rainey host Bangor in an Ulster derby with only pride riding on the outcome.

Rainey are guaranteed third and an away play-off semi-final while the Seasiders are safe in eighth.

Fixtures: 2A: Corinthians v Blackrock, Malone v Cashel, Nenagh v Belfast Harlequins, QUB v Highfield, Sunday's Well v Banbridge

2B: Armagh v Bective, Greystones v Old Crescent, Barnhall v Dungannon, Skerries v Derry, Thomond v Wanderers

2C: Bruff v Boyne, Kanturk v Midleton, Navan v Sligo, Rainey v Bangor, Tullamore v Seapoint.

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