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McMaster is proud as Derry extend title lead

By Ronnie Ingram

It was sweet revenge for City of Derry as they overwhelmed Highfield 33-10 to open up a 13-point lead at the top of AIL 2B. The only game the Judge's Road team have lost all season was against Highfield in Cork so running in five tries against them was the perfect response.

Coach Terry McMaster said: "It's pleasing to get Highfield out of our system and right that wrong. We squeezed them and took our opportunities.

"I sent a message to the whole squad over the New Year to re-set our goals and that was to go the rest of the season without defeat and we have won our last two games convincingly."

Derry still have a few difficult tussles ahead, most notably at third-placed Greystones, who they narrowly defeated 20-17 earlier in the season.

McMaster is quietly optimistic. He added: "We now have back row forward Richard Baird back in harness and he had a good 20 minutes against Highfield.

"We are building up to an exciting finish and hopefully we can stay clear of injuries."

AIL results: 2A - Banbridge 16 UCC 3, Nenagh/Ormond 31 Malone 15, Queen's 20 Cashel 7. 2B - Bective 0 Armagh 8, City of Derry 33 Highfield 10, Barnhall 31 Dungannon 14, Rainey 8 Greystones 22.

Only two Danske Bank Medallion Shield ties were decided over the weekend but the draw for the fourth round, which includes the eight top-seeded teams, was made.

The most interesting clash is between Campbell College and Wallace High at Fox's Field, which is a repeat of last season's semi-final when the Lisburn side squeezed through 11-9 at the same venue.

Holders RBAI, who have been handed home advantage, will be expected to eliminate either Ballymena Academy or Friends' School.

MEDALLION SHIELD FOURTH ROUND DRAW (ties to be played on or before January 30): RS Armagh or Down High v Sullivan Upper, Coleraine Grammmar v Portora Royal or Banbridge Academy, Portadown College v Methodist College, RBAI v Ballymena Academy or Friends' School, Omagh Academy or Dromore High v Larne Grammar or Limavady Grammar, Ballyclare High v Rainey Endowed or Regent House, Belfast RA v RS Dungannon, Campbell College v Wallace High.

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