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Weekend Preview
4 April 2009, 8:52 am
By Leonard Allen
It is the final series of league games in the A.I.B. sponsored All Ireland League and Provincial League Championship this weekend.
In the First Division leaders and defending champions Cork Constitution entertain Ballymena at Temple Hill and a win for the home side will guarantee them a home semi final slot next week.

Second-placed Dolphin travel to Limerick to take on third-placed Shannon at Coonagh and both sides are level with Cork Constitution on forty-seven points each. The winners are assured of a semi final spot, while the losers will have to depend on other results. It should be close with little between them at the finish.

Garryowen, who are in fourth place and level with Clontarf and St. Mary's College on forty-six points could guarantee their place in the last four with maximum points form their home tie against Galwegians, who are destined for Section B next season.

U.L. Bohemian travel to the Capital to take on Blackrock College at Stradbrook. The Dublin side will probably need maximum points to have any chance of making the top four, while U.L. guaranteed a place in the elite section next season are still basking in the clubs great success last weekend.

The other two sides in contention for a semi final place sees Clontarf at home to Dungannon, while St. Mary's face neighbours Terenure at Lakelands.

Young Munster are also in Dublin this weekend for their basement clash with U.C.D. at the Belfield Bowl. Following last week's excellent win over Buccaneers a win could be enough to see "The Cookies" stay up. The Dublin students must at least get two points from this tie to make sure of keeping their status.

Division 2 leaders U.C.C. will guarantee themselves a place in Division 1 rugby for the first time in their history next season with a win from their final game at Kiltiernan where they take on D.L.S.P.

Fourth-placed Old Crescent make the long journey to Belfast to take on Malone and need a win to secure a top four finish.

Fifth-placed Limerick neighbours Bruff are also in action against mid-table opposition as they are away to Greystones and a win is vital for the South Limerick side to keep their outside chances of reaching the semi finals intact.

Highfield entertain Wanderers at Woodleigh Park and a win for the Cork side will spell a quick return to Division 3 for the visitors.

Clonakilty welcome recently crowned A.I.B. All Ireland Cup winners Ballynahinch to The Vale and the Northerners are vying for a semi final spot as well as promotion, should either U.C.C. or Lansdowne slip up, while Clon' are only playing for pride.

Thomond, who climbed out of the relegation zone last week, can guarantee themselves another season of second tier rugby with a home win over Bective Rangers at Liam Fitzgerald Park.

In Division 3, third-placed Midleton and fourth-placed Queens' University go head to head at Dub Lane in Belfast and a defeat for either side will end their promotion aspirations, while the winners will be hoping that Old Wesley slip up in their final game.

Two sides with contrasting fortunes go head to head when Sunday's Well, who are second form bottom take on Old Wesley at Donnybrook. Maximum points are vital for the Cork side if they are to avoid a play-off with the Provincial league runners up next week, while 'Wesley need a victory to make certain of promotion.

Nenagh Ormond entertain Portadown in their mid-table clash at New Ormond Park

Waterpark, who are already relegated welcome Banbridge to Ballinakill in their final senior game.

Cashel face City of Derry in their final game in the Provincial League Championship and with Navan almost certainly guaranteed a place in the AIL next season; the winners of this tie will face a play off next week.

The Muster Junior Plate final is down for decision when Skibbereen and Thurles go head to head in the decider at Musgrave Park on Sunday. This is also the first meeting of theses sides since they played out a low-scoring encounter which the Tipperary side won 7-3 at the Carbery Showgrounds last November.

The inaugural Munster Junior Bowl final sees St. Senan's, who won the Munster Junior League Division 2 title, meet Ballincollig, who were promoted with 'Senan's in second place at Kilballyowen Park in Bruff. The Mid-Cork side ran out 13-10 winners over the Clare side in their League encounter at Jimmy Slattery Park last October.

The first of the Cork County Cup semi finals sees holders Cobh Pirates fresh from their comprehensive 48-7 home win over Douglas last time out travelling to take on surprise packets Kanturk at the Duhallow venue. The North Cork side caused an upset in their quarter final tie when they defeated Kinsale 31-25 at the South Cork venue.

Old Christians take on Skibbereen at Rathcooney next Wednesday evening and the prospect of a repeat of either of the last two seasons' finals will be on the cards, should Cobh overcome Kanturk.

The quarter finals of the Martin O'Sullivan Cup get underway with a Kerry derby on Saturday evening which sees Castleisland entertain Killorglin at Crageens. The home side recorded a 28-3 home win in the corresponding League encounter between these sides last October.

Carrick-on-Suir, who failed to get promoted to Division 2 of the Junior League for the second successive season, should have little difficulty in seeing off the challenge of Scariff at Tybroughney, while Killarney who enjoyed a good innings in the latter stages of the season have a tougher task on their hands as they welcome Douglas to the Kingdom.

The remaining tie sees Waterford City take on St. Mary's at Kilbarry.


FIXTURES:
FRIDAY 17th APRIL
North Under 18 Cup:
Ennis v Young Munster,Ennis,7.00;

North Under 16 Cup:
St. Mary's v Thomond,Corbally,6.45;

South Under 18 Development Cup Final:Mitchelstown v Youghal,Fermoy,7.15;

SATURDAY 18th APRIL
Magners League:
Munster v Connacht,Thomond Park,7.30;

AIB League Division 1:Blackrock College v U.L. Bohemian,Stradbrook,2.30;
Buccaneers v Old Belvedere,Dubarry Park,2.30;
Clontarf v Dungannon,Castle Avenue,2.30;
Cork Constitution v Ballymena,Temple Hill,2.30;
Garryowen v Galwegians,Dooradoyle,2.30;
Shannon v Dolphin,Thomond Park,2.30;
Terenure College v St. Mary's College,Lakelands,2.30;
U.C.D. v Young Munster,Belfield Bowl,2.30;

Division 2:Clonakilty v Ballynahinch,The Vale,2.30;
D.L.S.P. v U.C.C.,Kilternan,2.30;
Dublin University v Lansdowne,College Park,2.30;
Greystones v Bruff,Dr. Hickey Park,2.30;
Highfield v Wanderers,Woodleigh Park,2.30;
Instonians v Belfast Harlequins,Shaws Bridge,2.30;
Malone v Old Crescent,Gibson Park,2.30;
Thomond v Bective Rangers,Fitzgerald Park,2.30;

Division 3:
Ards v Connemara,Hamilton Park,2.30;
Co. Carlow v Suttonians,Oak Park,2.30;
Naas v Corinthians,Fournaughts,2.30;
Nenagh Ormond v Portadown,New Ormond Park,2.30;
Old Wesley v Sunday's Well,Donnybrook,2.30;
Queens University v Midleton,Dub Lane,2.30;
Rainey Old Boys v Barnhall,Hatrick Park,2.30;
Waterpark v Banbridge,Ballinakill,2.30;

All Ireland Provincial League Championship:Cashel v City of Derry,Cashel,2.30;
Navan v Monivea,Navan,2.30;

Martin O'Sullivan Cup:Castleisland v Killorglin,Castleisland,7.00;

Webb Cup:Thurles v Garryowen,Thurles,3.00;

Ballyrandle Cup Semi Final:Waterford City v Clonmel,Waterford,3.00;

Galwey Foley Cup Semi Final:Listowel v Corca Dhuibhne,Listowel,4.00;

North Under 20 Cup:Old Cresceent v U.L. Bohemian,Rosbrien,3.00;

South Under 16 Cup Semi Final:Kinsale v Highfield,Kinsale,11.30;

South Under 16 B Cup Final:
Cork Constitution v Mallow,C.I.T.,12.00;

South Under 16 Plate:Kanturk v Cobh Pirates,Kanturk,11.30;

Under 14 A & B Plate Blitzs,Fermoy,10.30;

West Under 16 Cup Final:Corca Dhuibhne v Tralee,Killarney,12.00;

Girls Under 18 League:Thurles v Clanwilliam,Thurles,2.00;

SUNDAY 19th APRIL
Munster Junior Plate Final:
Skibbereen v Thurles,Musgrave Park,3.00;

Munster Junior Bowl Final:
St. Senan's v Ballincollig,Bruff,3.00;

Martin O'Sullivan Cup:Carrick-on-Suir v Scariff,Carrick-on-Suir,3.00;
Killarney v Douglas,Killarney,3.00;
Waterford City v St. Mary's,Waterford,3.00;

Cork County Cup:Kanturk v Cobh Pirates,Kanturk,3.00;

Webb Cup:Cashel v Bruff,Cashel,3.00;

Junior 2 Cup South Semi Finals:Cork Constitution v Skibbereen,Temple Hill,12.30;
U.C.C. v Dolphin,Curaheen Road,12.00;

Dave Dineen Cup Semi Finals:Bantry Bay v Ballincollig,Bantry,3.00;
Tralee v Old Christians,Tralee,3.00;

Paul Twomey Cup Semi Finals:Castleisland v Muskerry,Castleisland,3.00;
Kanturk v Carrigaline,Kanturk,1.00;

Tait Cup Final:Bandon v Fermoy,Midleton,3.00;

All Ireland Under 18 Cup Final:
Highfield v Wicklow,Naas,3.00;

East Under 14 League:
Dungarvan v Cashel,Dungarvan,11.00;

North Under 14 Cup:Ballina-Killaoe v Thomond,Scariff,11.30;
Garryowen v U.L. Bohemian,Dooradoyle,11.30;
Kilrush v Bruff,Kilrush,12.00;
Old Crescent v Young Munster,Rosbrien,11.30;

Women's AIL Division 2 Semi Final:Nenagh Ormond v City of Derry,Nenagh,12.00;

MONDAY 20th APRIL
South Under 14 B Cup Final:
Kinsale v Skibbereen,Kinsale,6.30;

TUESDAY 21st APRIL
Representative:
Munster A v Krasnoyarsk,Nenagh,7.30;

WEDNESDAY 22nd APRIL
Cork County Cup Semi Final:
Old Christians v Skibbereen,7.00;

THURSDAY 23rd APRIL
Kelly Cup Semi Final:
Skibbereen v Bantry Bay,Skibbereen,7.00;


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