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Malone stay in control after Owens helps secure derby result

By Michael Sadlier ·

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Big impact: Jack Owens scored twice for Malone

Malone took another significant step towards potentially winning 2A and being automatically promoted after their 34-18 Ulster derby triumph at City of Armagh.

Though a top four finish now looks in the bag for Paddy Armstrong's squad - they are now 24 in front of fifth-placed Armagh with five to play - bringing the title back to Gibson Park is the real focus now with nearest challengers Highfield seven behind.

Two tries from Jack Owens, along with one touchdown via Nathan Brown and a penalty try earned Malone their seventh try bonus of the campaign, with Armagh now needing to overhaul Cashel - who are four in front - to make the top four.

Elsewhere, sixth-placed Queen's University lost 15-14 at Blackrock. In 2B, Rainey Old Boys came away from Wanderers with a bonus point 31-22 result. Andrew Donaghy scored twice for second-placed Rainey on the artificial back pitch at the Aviva Stadium, while Michael O'Neill and Robert Lamberton also crossed the line with Andrew Magrath registering two penalties, a conversion and drop goal.

Meanwhile, ninth-placed Belfast Harlequins, who have yet to actually win, lost 26-22 at home to Sundays Well in a game they badly needed to secure, as overhauling the Cork side now looks very tricky as Quins trail them by 13 points though they do have a game in hand.

Dungannon lost 10-5 at home to Barnhall while City of Derry edged ever closer to inevitable relegation after being turned over 37-12 by Navan.

In 2C, Bangor stayed in fourth after their creditable 10-10 draw at Bruff though the Munster side remain on equal points with them in fifth. Bangor's points came from a Phil Broderick try along with a Mark Widdowson penalty and conversion though losing the lead in pretty much the last play and seeing skipper David Bradford depart with a broken leg was anything but ideal.

Omagh stayed in sixth after beating Seapoint 12-0 at home through a Ryan Mitchell score and penalty try.

2A: Rock 15 QUB 14, Armagh 18 Malone 34.

2B: Quins 22 Well 26, Derry 12 Navan 37, Gannon 5 Barnhall 10, Wanderers 22 Rainey 31

2C: Bruff 10 Bangor 10, Omagh 12 Seapoint 0

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Big impact: Jack Owens scored twice for Malone