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Queen's kick off their campaign on a high note


By Michael Sadlier

Of the eight games involving Ulster clubs across the three second divisions, only Queen's University and Bangor managed to win their opening fixtures.

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And while Omagh drew at Clonmel, for Ballymena, Rainey Old Boys, Belfast Harlequins, Dungannon and City of Derry there were no positive outcomes.

In 2A, Queen's returned to Buccaneers - scene of last season's triumphant play-off semi-final - and made an early statement by winning again, this time by 24-6.

Tries from scrum-half Conor McKee, No.8 and skipper David Whitten as well as a penalty try brought the students the four points.

Ritchie McMaster kicked two conversions and a penalty.

Newly-promoted Rainey were at Nenagh but after leading 17-6 at half-time they failed to score again and lost 22-17, leaving them with a losing bonus point.

Conor Fitzsimons and Damian McMurray scored tries for Rainey, which were both converted by Andy Magrath who also kicked a penalty.

Elsewhere in 2A, Ballymena's first AIL game since being relegated last term ended badly at Barnhall, where the promoted side thrashed them 36-7.

In 2B, Belfast Harlequins and Dungannon could only gather up losing bonus points from their home games.

Quins lost 27-25 to Wanderers, while Dungannon were pipped 17-12 by Blackrock.

Tom Rock's first AIL game in charge at Bangor had a good outcome for the 2C side as Oscar Yandall kicked 20 points in their 25-13 victory over Sundays Well at Upritchard Park.

At Clonmel, Scott Elliott's late drop goal failed to bisect the posts which ensured the game ended 13-13. City of Derry succumbed to a last-minute score as Bruff managed a 19-18 win.

2A: Buccs 6 QUB 24, Barnhall 36 Ballymena 7, Nenagh 22 Rainey OB 17.

2B: Belfast Harlequins 25 Wanderers 27, Dungannon 12 Blackrock 17.

2C: Bangor 25 Sundays Well 13, City of Derry 18 Bruff 19, Clonmel 13 Omagh 13.

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