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Banbridge and Derry boys chase promotion

By Michael Sadlier

The last weekend of the regulation season will take things right to the wire for Banbridge and City of Derry when it comes to deciding who finishes top of the pile in 2A and 2B respectively.

Both have recently faltered in campaigns which once offered so much in terms of winning their leagues and therefore stepping up a division without having to undergo the play-off route.

Further damage was done to their respective causes by defeats last weekend but the two clubs can still secure automatic promotion.

In Banbridge's case, straight elevation to 1B now not only rests on them beating sixth-placed Malone, at Rifle Park, but also involves new leaders Naas tripping up.

With Bann's ambitions to end up top no longer in their own hands, coach Dan Soper called for his side to simply win their derby clash and not worry about what is happening elsewhere.

The Kiwi also emphasised the need to, at the very least, secure second place - not guaranteed with UCC three points behind - to snare a home semi-final play-off.

In 2B, City of Derry need to win to secure the title and promotion though this will not be straightforward as they have shipped five straight defeats.

Despite the alarming slump in form, Terry McMaster's squad are still one point in front of nearest challengers Highfield though if things go wrong for them against fifth-placed Barnhall they could find themselves finishing in third and hitting the road for a semi-final play-off.

Belfast Telegraph


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