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Queen's strengthen promotion hunt by showing their six appeal



Job done: Derek Suffern’s side saw off Old Crescent

Job done: Derek Suffern’s side saw off Old Crescent

�INPHO/Byran Keane

Job done: Derek Suffern’s side saw off Old Crescent

Though Storm Jorge did its level best to make things difficult right across the leagues, Queen's University still kept ticking along nicely with a well-deserved 24-7 result over Old Crescent.

The promotion-chasing students made it six wins in a row over their fellow play-off hopefuls with the four points collected moving them into second spot in 2A and one point behind Barnhall who, admittedly, have a game in hand.

Queen's are also on the same number of points as third-placed Cashel (49) who they travel to play for a crunch tie in the next round on March 14.

Coach Derek Suffern's side, with skipper Ian Whitten in the vanguard, were too accurate for Crescent and made most of their scoring chances stick with wingers Stuart Martin and Johnny Hunter getting over before prop Matthew Millar drove over for their third, each try being converted by Ritchie McMaster, who also kicked a penalty.

The students had led 10-0 at the break having made better use of the considerable cross-wind howling across the pitch.

Martin's 30th-minute try, which was excellently converted by McMaster - who had opened things up with a penalty - was built on after the restart when Hunter was put away.

Though Crescent managed a converted try near the finish, their handling let them down on other scoring occasions and it was the students, who played with greater accuracy and organisation throughout, who finished things off nicely through Millar's effort.

What was once a solid-looking chance to finish second has come badly undone for Rainey Old Boys, who lost 15-8 at home to Cashel.

Michael O'Neill's try and Marty Connolly's penalty brought Rainey a losing bonus point but they remain fifth after a third consecutive defeat.

Ballymena, though, hammered bottom team Dolphin 48-0 at Eaton Park, scoring eight tries to somewhat ease their relegation fears.

Connor Smyth and Pierce Crowe scored two each for the Braidmen as they romped home to victory.

In 2B, Dungannon won 31-12 at basement team Ballina, boosting their bid to wriggle out of ninth, while nearby Belfast Harlequins lost 12-0 at Blackrock and have now gone two games without scoring at all.

All three Ulster sides in 2C lost their games, meanwhile.

Omagh went down 19-15 at home to bottom side Midleton while relegation-battling City of Derry were tanked 33-5 at Clonmel. Thomas Cole got their only score.

Ninth-placed Bangor lost 5-0 in truly atrocious conditions at Tullamore and boosted their cause with a losing bonus point, which puts them on 25 points with Derry.

2A: Ballymena 48 Dolphin 0, Rainey 8 Cashel 15, Queen's University 24 Old Crescent 7.

2B: Ballina 12 Dungannon 31, Blackrock 12 Belfast Harlequins 0.

2C: Clonmel 33 Derry 5, Omagh 15 Midleton 19, Tullamore 5 Bangor 0.

Belfast Telegraph