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McMaster's last-gasp drop goal decides derby clash but Rainey stay in second


By Michael Sadlier

It had looked as if the Ulster derby between Queen's Univeristy and Rainey Old Boys was destined to end in stalemate at the Dub until Ritchie McMaster got one more shot to win the game.

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The Queen's out-half had just missed a penalty when a chance at a drop goal came his way and he nailed it with the last moment of the match to claim a 20-17 victory.

It wasn't that in doing so he was just earning bragging rights over his fater Terry, assistant coach of in-form Rainey who had been strong favourites to sweep Queen's aside, this was much more about halting a three-game losing streak which threatened to derail the students' season if it had stretched to another reverse.

The four hard-earned points meant Queen's stay fourth in the 2A table and, on balance, Derek Suffern's side deserved the result having outscored Rainey by three tries to two.

Instead, the Magherafelt side's five-game winning run came to an end though they stay in second and picked up a losing bonus point.

Tries from Johnny Hunter, David Swann, converted by McMaster, and hard-working skipper David Whitten put Queen's in a winning position, Rainey managing a penalty try and a Mickey O'Neill effort which was converted by Andy Magrath who also kicked a penalty.

Elsewhere in 2A, Ballymena were swept aside 43-16 at Old Crescent.

In 2B, Belfast Harlequins won for only the second time when they put six tries past bottom side Ballina to triumph 38-10 at Deramore.

Chris Larmour, Richie McKee and Christian Bennison all crossed twice and Colby Miln slotted four conversions as Quins moved up one spot to eighth.

Dungannon's 17-0 defeat at Galwegians saw them slip to ninth.

In 2C, it took an Alex McDonnell penalty to edge it by 15-14 for City of Derry in their Ulster derby at Bangor.

Davy Graham and Stephen Corr got Derry's tries as they came from 14-7 down to win, slightly easing their own relegation worries but doing nothing for ninth-placed Bangor's problems.

Omagh stayed in third despite losing 39-24 at Skerries and the Accies took a try bonus from the clash thanks to two tries from Ryan Mitchell and one each via James Catterson and Stewart McCain.

2A: Old Crescent 43 Ballymena 16, Queen's University 20 Rainey Old Boys 17.

2B: Belfast Harlequins 38 Ballina 10, Dungannon 0 Galwegians 17.

2C: Bangor 14 City of Derry 15, Skerries 39 Omagh 24.

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