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Pacesetters Malone and play-off hopefuls Armagh in pivotal derby

 

By Michael Sadlier

Leaders Malone visit City of Armagh today for an Ulster derby with much more than bragging rights at stake.

Malone have managed to open up a six-point gap between themselves and Highfield after last weekend when the Cork side lost and Paddy Armstrong's men just about got past Greystones.

And with fourth-placed Armagh targeting a play-off spot, this clash with Malone could prove pivotal for coach Willie Faloon's squad.

Malone have Joe Dunleavy available again and Jack Owens back in the side.

Sixth-placed Queen's University are at Blackrock College.

In 2B, Rainey Old Boys will be looking to bounce back at Wanderers as they are now seven points off leaders Old Crescent.

But John Andrews' second-placed squad have now lost flanker Paul Pritchard to injury while Tim Barker is also ruled out for this game and Tommy O'Hagan has not been released.

Elsewhere, Dungannon, in sixth, host Barnhall while Belfast Harlequins play Sundays Well at Deramore in a key game for their hopes of escaping ninth place. Bottom side City of Derry meet Navan.

In 2C, fourth-placed Bangor go to Bruff, who are in fifth, for what looks like a season-defining clash.

They travel with a side very similar to the one which won at Bective with Max Montgomery coming in as starting hooker. Omagh, in sixth, host Seapoint.

2A: Rock v QUB, Armagh v Malone. 2B: Quins v Well, Derry v Navan, Gannon v Barnhall, Omagh v Seapoint.

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