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Moore's return helps Malone storm into the top five

 

Get in: Malone ace Stewart Moore bagged two tries
Get in: Malone ace Stewart Moore bagged two tries

By Michael Sadlier

In what has hardly been a vintage season so far, Malone restored some inner-belief by running in seven tries against Navan at Gibson Park.

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In truth, they were always likely to do a job on 1B's weakest side, who have not won a game so far and have just a point from six games and, having a strong side out, further assisted in putting Navan firmly to the sword.

Ulster Academy player Stewart Moore returned from injury for his first game this season and the promising centre, who scored a wonder try for Ireland U20s in last summer's World Championships, managed to dot down twice.

Second row Mattie Dalton did likewise while the remainder of the tries were scored by winger Ben McCaughey, Dave Cave and Ulster player Angus Curtis.

Jack Milligan kicked three conversions and McCaughey slotted one.

Chris Henry's side led only 12-3 when the sides turned round - Moore and McCaughey having scored - but then picked up the pace with five more touchdowns, Moore's second bringing up the try bonus.

The five points allowed Malone to rise two places up the table to fifth.

Banbridge also got back to winning ways and their 28-27 success over Old Belvedere meant that Mark McDowell's squad have now been victorious three times, all at Rifle Park.

Even though they managed to shade the outcome by a mere point, Belvo coming back to score a converted try late in the game, Bann collected five much-needed points.

In the table, they rose one place to seventh and are eight ahead of Naas in ninth.

It was certainly no stately progress in the way Malone managed their victory as Bann lost the lead after being 14-0 ahead before regaining it and then holding on by the slimmest of margins.

Ulster player Greg Jones and Harry Harbinson got over the Belvo line early on, Bruce Houston's conversions giving the home side that 14-point cushion.

But then two converted tries and a penalty put Belvo in front at the break.

It took until the hour before Peter Cromie's score and Houston's conversion had Bann in front again at 21-20 and Houston then managed his fourth conversion when Andrew Morrison snared the try bonus with 10 minutes to go.

Their 28-20 lead was cut to a point but Bann stayed secure for the last seven minutes.

City of Armagh find themselves down in eighth as a result of a third straight defeat when they lost out 21-13 at unbeaten leaders Highfield.

It was bitterly disappointing for Armagh as they had come back to tie the scores at 13-13 just after the hour and left Cork without a losing bonus after the hosts sealed the game with four minutes remaining.

Cormac Fox scored all Armagh's points thanks to a converted try and two penalties.

As expected, Ballynahinch's two-game run of wins came to an end at 1A leaders Cork Constitution.

Hinch lost 35-19 and coughed up five tries in a defeat which now leaves them back at the foot of the table.

George Pringle, Rhys O'Donnell and Ross Adair scored tries for the visitors who are now only one point behind Lansdowne and Dublin University.

1A: Cork Constitution 35 Ballynahinch 19.

1B: Banbridge 28 Old Belvedere 27, Highfield 21 City of Armagh 13, Malone 43 Navan 3.

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