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McMaster: Derry have a slim margin for error

By Michael Sadlier

Division 2B leaders City of Derry face a season-defining encounter today as they attempt to arrest a three-game losing run when hosting second-placed Sunday's Well.

Terry McMaster's squad go into the game having seen their once extensive lead now cut back to seven so no better time for the Judges Road side to get back to winning ways and edge closer to their ultimate goal of securing the title and automatic promotion.

With just two regulation rounds to follow after this weekend - though fourth-placed Highfield have a game in hand - Derry know that they must secure victory.

"We have more or less a full complement of players, it's a home game so let's get it back on the rails and across the line," said McMaster, who has had Ulster assistant coach Allen Clarke looking over his squad's preparation this week.

"We can't afford any more slip-ups."

In 2A, it's also a big weekend for Banbridge who now find themselves in second - though only on points differential from new leaders Naas - which means that a bonus-point victory is the priority for the Co Down side when they take on struggling Thomond at Rifle Park.

Elsewhere, fifth-placed Malone are aiming to battle their way back into the top-four play-offs and have targeted a maximum return when they travel to meet bottom side Galway Corinthians.

Queen's University - in seventh - are effectively out of the running for the play-offs but they can do Malone a favour by seeing off fourth-placed Nenagh at the Dub.

Back in 2B, Dungannon are at promotion-chasing Greystones while Armagh travel to fourth-placed Highfield.

Relegation battling Rainey face a crunch tie at home to Bective, who are a place below their hosts in ninth.

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