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Banbridge and Malone stretch lead at the top after wins

By Ronnie Ingram

Banbridge and Malone have opened a gap at the top of 2A solely due to bonus points earned and while Bann had a comfortable 26-6 success at Queen's their main rivals were flattered by their 29-24 win over Skerries.

Bann now have 32 points, Malone 30 and Highfield 27 all having been defeated on three occasions.

The Gibson Park team dominated the first half to take a 29-5 interval advantage at Skerries but then they allowed their opponents back into the game.

Five tries in that period and the bonus point after Adam Liddell (2), James McAllister, Josh Pentland and Michael Barker crossed for Nathan Brown to goal two.

"It was completely different contest in the second half," said Malone CMO Raymond Thomas.

"Admittedly conditions were poor, especially by the sea but we were unable to retain the possession we controlled the first half.

"We lost our way for a time and Skerries came back at us with three more tries but thankfully we regained control for the final 10 minutes and kept them out," he added.

Banbridge gave Queen's a lesson on how to play the elements with their bonus point victory at Upper Malone.

The students failed to make full use of the strong wind in the first period but took a six point lead with two Jack Milligan penalties before the visitors struck back with tries in the last couple of minutes of the period to go 12-6 in front.

Robin Thompson's and a solo effort by Adam Dougherty from 40 metres out were followed by second half tries from forwards Stephen Irvine and Dale Carson for Dougherty to convert three.

There was only the one game in 2B with title contenders Armagh having a tough game against bottom of the table Seapoint, which they won 9-0.

Belfast Telegraph


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