Malone out to make point and swerve dreaded drop

Malone's John Creighton
Malone's John Creighton

One point from their final game against Corinthians at Gibson Park will be enough for Malone to survive the drop.

Last week’s bonus point win inspired by the pack at Shannon has lifted Jacque Benade’s side four points clear of Blackrock in the fight to avoid the one remaining relegation place.

Blackrock travel to fourth placed UL Bohemians and have an inferior points difference of 45 to Malone.

Corinthians were chasing promotion for most of the season but fellow Connacht side Buccaneers are six points clear and will go into the play-off.

Malone are boosted by the news that Benade has agreed to stay at the Gibson Park club for another two years.

The South African is hoping to field the same team as they one that was successful at Thomond Park last Saturday.

James McKinney is unavailable as he benches for Ulster at Glasgow so John Creighton starts at outhalf with Shane Kelly in the No9 jersey.

Josh Pentland, back from studying in England, will be asked to make an impact from the bench.

Peter Henderson scored two tries at Shannon starts at full back with Adam Liddell and Michael Barker on the wing.

Nathan Brown and Mark Gribben form the midfield partnership.

In the pack fit again Ulster lock Alan O’Connor made a huge difference at Shannon and is partnered by Michael Ferguson in the engine room.

Connor Joyce starts at No8 with captain Neil Alcorn at openside flanker and Richard Millar at blindside.

Ross Kane is at loose head with Lee McClure on the tight side with Darryl Maxwell hooking.

Corinthians travel to Gibson Park having lost their last two game’s including last week’s at home to Belfast Harlequins.

Last week’s win in Galway means Quins are safe from relegation going into their last game at home to Dungannon.

Defeat at Stevenson Park last week against champions Terenure sealed Dungannon’s fate with two games remaining. Quins coach Adam Larkin is delighted not to be going into the final game with the threat of relegation hanging over his side.

“I was very pleased with last week’s result. We took it to them and managed to get the win to take us out of the relegation dogfight and needing to produce a result this weekend,” said Larkin

“Having said that it would be very easy to take the foot off now, but we want a good finish for the squad to build on next season and we want a good finish for the club and supporters.

“Consistency has been a problem for us this year but we want to round it off the right way.”

With Ricky Andrew passed fit to play for Ulster Larkin will have Rory Scholes available for the Ulster derby.

Lock Neil McComb has also been released by Ulster and Ireland U20 Frank Taggart will pack down at No8.

Quins are looking to do the double over Gannon after winning 13-3 when the sides met in January although Paddy Johns side did win at Deramore last season.