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AIL Division 2B round-up: Armagh aim to take home form on long trip west


Tough task: Daniel Soper's Banbridge welcome Naas to Rifle Park tomorrow

Tough task: Daniel Soper's Banbridge welcome Naas to Rifle Park tomorrow

Tough task: Daniel Soper's Banbridge welcome Naas to Rifle Park tomorrow

Armagh make the long trek west to face Connemara with renewed confidence after last week’s victory over Sligo.

Andy Hughes’ side have won both home fixtures but have lost their two games on the road and will want to rectify that in Clifton.

The coach has no injury worries ahead of the match and is likely to stick with the same team that saw off Sligo 20-14 at the Palace Grounds to move into fifth place.

Connemara have also won two and lost two of their games, but have leaked 111 points compared to Armagh’s 60.

Banbridge, lying in fourth place only two points behind joint League leaders Rainey and Cashel, should record another win, this time against Naas.

Bann have come out on top in three of their four outings, the only disappointment being the loss at newcomers Cashel.

Last Saturday, Bann showed their capabilities with a 25-6 success at Highfield and coach Daniel Soper said that they played their best rugby of the season with four tries in a half-hour spell.

On current form, considering the respective positions, Bann must be expected to win but should take nothing for granted.

Naas have only managed the one victory, at Navan 13-7, but do have the capabilities to gain revenge for last season's 31-28 home loss to Bann.

Rainey have made up for a poor start to the Ulster Senior League with an unbeaten run of four games in the AIL. They are currently joint top with Cashel as, although they had a drawn game at Nenagh/Ormond 15-15, their main rivals have no bonus points to Rainey's two.

In Division 2B the Magherafelt side have a massive points difference of 65, the best in the AIL, after accumulating 108 points and conceding only 43.

Most of Rainey's success has come from their policy of introducing young players to the squad.

Along with these youngsters are a number of experienced players and this mix has led to a well-balanced outfit which is producing the results at the moment.

Wanderers have lost all four games and although they have home advantage Rainey could well come away with a bonus point win.

Joint bottom of the table Ards face another difficult Saturday when they travel to Sunday's Well.

The young and inexperienced Hamilton Park team are better than their record of three losses and one draw would suggest as they have put up a real challenge in most games before tiring towards the close.

Unfortunately they are still without key players, nine are unavailable for various reasons, and will be fielding much the same side that lost 29-3 to Barnhall last Saturday.

Sunday's Well have two wins from their four outings. Their strength is in defence and they play a typical Munster style of rugby. They are always difficult to defeat on their own territory and the recent wet weather will help their cause.

Belfast Telegraph