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Owens and Campbell shine as Malone win again

 

By Michael Sadlier

Only Malone and Dungannon achieved the desired results over the weekend in the first round of back-to-back games across the three divisions.

Not that the Division 2A leaders were entirely convincing in their 22-20 victory over Corinthians at Gibson Park, but four points were gratefully bagged to bring coach Paddy Armstrong's squad an eighth win from their nine games.

Winger Rory Campbell topped the scoring for the home side and gathered up 12 points via a try, two conversions and a penalty though full-back Jack Owens ran him close with a brace of tries.

Malone led by just 7-6 at the break after Campbell's try and conversion and though they pushed things out to 22-13, with five minutes to play, the Connacht side came back strongly in the closing minutes which should make for an interesting clash in Saturday's re-match in Galway.

Malone had put 55 points on Greystones in the previous round but Queen's University tripped up badly to the same opposition when the admittedly injury-hit students succumbed 27-17 to the Leinster side at the Dub which will have hit Neil Doak's fourth-placed squad ahead of the return game.

In Division 2B, Dungannon were at bottom side City of Derry for their Ulster derby and made the most of the occasion by trouncing the North West side by 51-6 allowing the visitors move up to sixth.

Belfast Harlequins, just one spot above Derry, were in Dublin to meet Wanderers but, after running leaders Old Crescent so close the week before, Nicky Wells's men were turned over 42-13 and have still not won after nine rounds.

Second-placed Rainey had no game.

Both Omagh and Bangor also tasted defeat in 2C with the Tyrone team losing 27-5 at home to Malahide with Phil Marshall's side slipping to fourth.

As for Bangor, they were made to rue three missed penalties in the opening half at leaders Sligo and the visitors surrendered their 7-0 lead to lose 9-7 and drop two spots to sixth.

Div 2A: Rock 17 Nenagh 35, Cashel 13 Armagh 10, Galwegians 18 Highfield 40, Malone 22 Corinthians 20, QUB 17 Greystones 27

Div 2B: Derry 6 Gannon 51, Old Cres 22 Navan 20, Skerries 18 Barnhall 30, Wanderers 42 Quins 13

Div 2C: Sligo 9 Bangor 7, Bective 9 Thomond 3, Bruff 17 Midleton 13, Omagh 5 Malahide 27, Tullamore 20 Seapoint 23

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