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Soper's Banbridge and Malone look down on their rivals

By Michael Sadlier

Division 2A has an uplifting look to it from an Ulster viewpoint as the top two places are currently filled by Banbridge who are just three points in front of Malone.

Bann have taken maximum points from their last three games, having beaten tomorow's opponents Cashel 28-5 at Rifle Park and then from the back-to-back derbies with Queen's.

Even so, Bann coach Dan Soper knows his side face a huge challenge from their trip to the fifth-placed Tipperary outfit.

"Banbridge against Cashel has always gone with the home team and a win for them would put them right in the mix but a win for us would give us some breathing space and that is a big incentive," said Soper.

Malone, who host sixth placed Queen's, will be gunning to avenge their defeat to the students at Gibson Park earlier in the campaign.

In Division 2B, leaders City of Derry meet basement side Seapoint at Judges Road and, though there is a huge gulf between them in the table, the Dublin side proved to be very tricky opponents when the sides met in November.

"I think it was one of the hardest games we've played and I'm baffled as to why they are bottom," said Derry coach Terry McMaster recalling his team's struggles in their 20-18 away win.

It's fourth versus fifth when Armagh host Sundays Well, sixth-placed Dungannon are at home to Bective Rangers while Rainey, in seventh, hit the road to take on Derry's nearest challengers, Highfield.

Belfast Telegraph


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