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AIL at a glance

Division 2

BALLYNAHINCH overcame the snow to continue their march back to Division 1B by disposing of Queen's 13-3 at Ballymacarn Park.

The 2009 champions made the most of Ballymena and UCD having their matches called off and now lead the way by five points, with Bective moving into second after their comfortable 28-13 win over Malone at Donnybrook.

Clonakilty got their 2011 survival bid off to the best possible start by gaining their first win -- and points -- of the season with a 13-9 victory over relegation rivals DLSP, while Terenure beat Trinity 17-8, Belfast Harlequins won 14-7 at Old Crescent and Midleton edged out Old Wesley 23-20.

Division 3

SEAPOINT won the battle of the new boys at Kilgobbet Park to go top of the table after downing second-placed City of Derry 9-6.

The Killiney side lead the way as Instonians' game was off. Greystones moved into fourth with a 44-12 win over Suttonians. Nenagh beat Wanderers 23-16, while Naas hammered winless Connemara 33-3 and Rainey beat Ards 40-12 away.

Star turn

Tadhg Bennett (Shannon)

2010 was a year to forget for the once most feared club in the AIL, but a good old-fashioned hammering of Blackrock restored some order at the start of a new year. And it was out-half Bennett who pulled the strings, with a try, a penalty and five conversions bringing his haul to 18 points.

One to watch

Eoin Sheriff (Lansdowne)

Gorey native Sheriff has been key to the second-row efforts in Lansdowne's ambitious rise through the ranks, but the 22-year-old is not destined for this level long term. At 6ft 5ins and 17 stone, his physical credentials are solid, as are his eye for the try line and mobility around the park -- as Saturday's try-scoring performance at Lansdowne Road proved.

Number of the week

7This many of the eight sides promoted last season across the divisions occupy places in the top half of their tables, with Queen's the only side languishing.

Irish Independent