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City of Derry hoping to turn corner in Ulster derby

By Jonathan Bradley

City of Derry will hope to haul themselves off the bottom of All-Ireland 2A today when they host Ulster rivals Banbridge at Judge's Road.

As they fell to Thomond last week, other results were conspiring against Mark Nicholl's men and left them rooted to the foot of the table for the first time since their return to senior rugby in 2010.

Captain David Funston missed the defeat in Limerick last week because of a family wedding but returns today feeling his side are ready to turn a corner.

The centre said: "Our AIL performance hasn't been great.

"We had quite a heavy defeat on Saturday but we've had quite a few injuries which hasn't helped. Hopefully we can start taking the confidence from our cup games into the All-Ireland League.

"We know we can compete with the big boys and we just have to start showing it."

In testing conditions, Banbridge played out a 3-3 draw with Blackrock College last week that lifted them into ninth place in the standings.

Also in 2A, Dungannon carry momentum into an All-Ireland League game for the first time this season after overcoming Seapoint 35-6 last week. Today they face a lengthy trip to Cork meet UCC.

Queen's are currently flying the flag for the Ulster sides as they sit fourth in the table after beating Cashel last week but face a huge challenge this afternoon against league leaders Old Wesley, while Rainey Old Boys travel to meet NUIM Barnhall.

In AIL 2B, struggling Ards are away to Kanturk while Armagh host Highfield in a top of the table clash at the Palace Grounds.

Belfast Telegraph


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