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McMaster eager to get one over on dad


In family: Ritchie McMaster
In family: Ritchie McMaster

By Michael Sadlier

Though there are two Ulster derbies across the divisions, the 2A meeting between Queen's University and Rainey Old Boys has to take top billing.

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Rainey come to The Dub in fine form having won their last five games in a row to put themselves second in the table, while the students, after a bright start, have now lost their previous three outings.

The Magherafelt side are not, though, taking Queen's' recent form as a sign of their decline and are wary of their threat if given the chance to attack.

Indeed, the game pits father against son as Terry McMaster, assistant coach at Rainey, will be hoping his charges undo a Queen's team with Ritchie at out-half.

"I think in terms of an All-Ireland League game it is the first time I'll have 'played' against my dad," said Ritchie, who reckons this happened before when he played at Ballymena and Terry coached at City of Derry.

"It should be a good one and I'm looking forward to it.

"You would say (Rainey) are favourites, but that suits us as well because we enjoy being the underdog."

Queen's, in fourth, will be without exciting prospect Ethan McIlroy.

Elsewhere, in Division 2A, Ballymena, in sixth place, are at Old Crescent.

In Division 2B, ninth-placed Belfast Harlequins are hosting basement team Ballina and need to improve on their sole victory.

Dungannon are just one place above Quins and they too are at home and against Connacht opposition in Galwegians.

Division 2C has fellow strugglers Bangor and City of Derry facing off at Upritchard Park.

Bangor are sitting in ninth, with Derry one place and two points ahead, so this derby looks as if it could be a tense affair.

Up in third, Omagh are at second-placed Skerries.

2A: Old Crescent v Ballymena, Queen's University v Rainey Old Boys

2B: Belfast Harlequins v Ballina, Dungannon v Galwegians

2C: Bangor v City of Derry, Skerries v Omagh

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