AIL DIVISION 2A: Banbridge and Malone bid to stay out in front

Key games for Banbridge and Malone in AIL Division 2A
Key games for Banbridge and Malone in AIL Division 2A

Banbridge and Malone continue to set the pace at the top of Division 2A after both picked up bonus point wins on the road last weekend.

Banbridge are two points clear after their win over Queen’s at the Dub and they welcome the students to Rifle Park on Saturday with coach Dan Soper warning against complacency.

“If we turn up with the mind set of same again that can lead to complacency which can be dangerous, we have had a look at a few things and we’ll go out and start again and its nil nil last week counts for nothing,” said Soper.

Bann are unbeaten at Rifle Park in the AIL this season.

“It is not something we have set out to achieve it just happens because you are more comfortable at home in your own environment, it would nice to keep the record but we go out to win every game whether home or away.”

Soper makes one change to the side that scored four tries last week with Kellan Martin coming into the starting line up for Dale Carson.

Queen’s dropped to sixth after last week’s reversal and are missing Jonny McPhillips and Rob Lyttle to Ulster A while lock Alex Thompson is side lined with a knee injury.

Backrow duo Josh Atkinson and Nick Timoney return to the starting line up and Hugh Sloane replaces Thompson in the engine room.

Ulster U20 Alex Kane starts at full back and Mark Gordon comes onto the wing.

Malone had their bonus point wrapped up by half time at Skerries but had to withstand a second half come back from the Dubliners in the 29-24 win.

Malone coach Jarrett Truscott thinks the back to back games are a good idea.

“It’s good in a way because you can plan from what you saw last week and we’ll take a few things from it,” said Truscott.

“We’ll focus on ourselves and we had to go quite deep into the phase count to get our tries one was 22 if we can get off to the same start again I’ll be very happy.”

“We can put more emphasis on it than we would if it was in a block of four, the boys can give it everything and know then can have a welcome rest and recovery period after it.”

Cory Tipping returns to the second row with Richard Millar moving to blindside flanker, Rory Campbell starts at full back.