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Students storm back to sign off the year in style

All Ireland League Two

Stirring comeback: Derek Suffern’s Queen’s side roared back against Nenagh
Stirring comeback: Derek Suffern’s Queen’s side roared back against Nenagh

By Michael Sadlier

Three tries in the space of seven minutes contributed hugely to Queen's University signing off from the All Ireland League until the New Year with maximum points from their 29-21 home win over struggling Nenagh.

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The result not only kept Derek Suffern's squad just outside the top four in 2A, as the AIL hit the halfway point, but also boosted confidence at the Dub as the students came back to take the game after being 21-7 down.

Mind you, their nerves were stretched to the limit as three missed conversions meant that Queen's led by just 22-21 from the 61st minute until four minutes into injury time when Keelin Coyle got over for his second try and his team's fifth touchdown which, this time, with Ritchie McMaster back on the field, yielded the extra two points.

It was quite the comeback and was kick-started by Queen's putting pace and some width on the ball, with skipper Ian Whitten's solo run and jack-knife style of side-step for the try bonus being potentially the pick of the bunch. Queen's will be confident of doing more damage when the sides meet again, this time at Nenagh, in the New Year.

Rainey Old Boys maintained their position in second in Div 2A after their 21-0 Ulster derby victory over Ballymena.

It was a fairly one-sided affair with the home side leading 18-0 when the sides turned around, Andy Magrath's penalty being the only score registered in the second half.

Rainey scored two tries in the first of the sides' meetings thanks to a penalty try and a score from Brad Robert with Magrath ending the day slotting three penalties.

In 2B, the duel between Belfast Harlequins and Dungannon to avoid a lengthy stay in ninth seems to be going the Belfast side's way after they annihilated the visitors to Deramore by 47-10.

This Ulster derby ensured that Quins are now eight points and one place in front of Gannon who appear locked-in as being one above bottom side Ballina.

Quins crossed Gannon's line seven times in this thrasing with Ben Alexander and Mark Glover coming away with two tries each.

Christian Bennison, Conor McAuley and Kyle Adams also scored tries while Coby Miln kicked six conversions.

None of the three Ulster sides in 2C managed to sign off 2019 in the AIL with wins though third-placed Omagh's 12-12 home draw from their game with Sundays Well at least avoided defeat.

Adam Pollock and Scott Barr tries helped the Accies take two fortunate points.

City of Derry lost 18-3 at Midleton to stay in eighth and Bangor remained a place below them after suffering a 34-7 reverse at leaders Enniscorthy.

2A: Queen's University 29 Nenagh 21, Rainey Old Boys 21 Ballymena 0.

2B: Belfast Harlequins 47 Dungannon 10.

2C: Enniscorthy 34 Bangor 7, Midleton 18 City of Derry 3, Omagh 12 Sunday's Well 12.

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