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Malone coach Armstrong relishes drama

 

By Michael Sadlier

The Division 2A title awaits Malone should they beat Nenagh in front of the Gibson Park faithful which has certainly focused minds at the club with Highfield just three points behind.

Though a draw will still deliver the honours to Malone, which comes along with automatic promotion to 1B for winning the league, coach Paddy Armstrong's side are intent on getting the job done in the appropriate manner.

Despite their narrow defeat at Highfield last weekend, Malone at least remain in control of their own destiny.

"We always knew it was probably going to come down to the last day in such a tight league but we are looking forward to the challenge," Armstrong said.

Armstrong has Matthew Dalton, Joe Dunleavy and Jack Owens released by Ulster.

City of Armagh's play-off hopes are hanging by a thread in the wake of last weekend's narrow home defeat to Galwegians.

Armagh, in fifth and five behind Nenagh, now must not only take maximum points at Greystones but also need Malone to hammer the Tipperary side and deny them anything at Gibson Park.

Elsewhere, Neil Doak signs off as Queen's University head coach with a home tie against Galway Corinthians.

Losing at home to Navan, and not even gathering up a losing bonus point, ensured that Rainey Old Boys go to the last weekend of regulation games to nail-down their ownership of second and a home play-off semi-final in 2B.

Rainey are at title winners Old Crescent though John Andrews' squad should still manage to end up in second even if they do lose, and Barnhall get a bonus point win, due to superior points differential.

Belfast Harlequins end their regulation season at Navan and are looking for three wins in a row to take to the relegation play-offs while City of Derry finish their time in 2B by hosting mid-table Wanderers and Dungannon are at Skerries.

In 2C, a win for Omagh, in fourth, will cement a play-off but the Accies will be aiming for a bonus point home win over Bruff which might see them end up in second.

As for sixth-placed Bangor, their hopes of play-off rugby are over and they finish off at Tullamore.

2A: Greystones v Armagh, Malone v Nenagh, QUB v Corinthians

2B: Derry v Wanderers, Navan v Quins, Old Crescent v Rainey, Skerries v Gannon

2C: Omagh v Bruff, Tullamore v Bangor

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