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Preview | Munster Derbies Take Centre Stage In All Ireland League

2nd December 2021 By Leonard Allen

Preview | Munster Derbies Take Centre Stage In All Ireland League

The Men’s and Women’s All Ireland Leagues continue this weekend with a full programme of games.

In the Men’s All Ireland League, there are Munster derbies in Divisions 1A and 2A.

Early leaders Young Munster and Garryowen lock horns in a Limerick derby at Tom Clifford Park in Division 1A. Both sides made promising starts to the campaign, but the home side go into the tie on the back of two successive defeats by Dublin opposition, while the Sky Blues lost their last three matches. Young Munster were defeated 38-3 by Dublin University at College Park, while Garryowen go into the tie on the back of a 29-5 home defeat by Lansdowne.

It is also derby day on Leeside as UCC, who are second from bottom, entertain Cork Constitution at the Mardyke. The Students were defeated 36-17 by leaders Clontarf at the Mardyke last time out. The Lilywhites have climbed up to third following their fourth successive victory, where they ran out 19-17 away winners over Ballynahinch.

Division 1B leaders Highfield, who made it seven wins from seven as they recorded a maximum point 26-19 win over Banbridge in County Down, welcome fourth-placed City of Armagh to Woodleigh Park. The Ulster side ran out 20-14 home winners over Malone last time out.

Shannon, who are fifth, travel to Belfast to take on Malone, who are hovering above the drop zone. The Limerick side were defeated 35-29 by Naas at Thomond Park and claimed two bonus points as they scored four tries.

In the Women’s All Ireland League, there is a Munster derby between second-placed UL Bohemian and Ballincollig, who are eighth, at the UL Arena. UL Bohemian go into the tie on the back of a narrow 17-16 away win over Blackrock College, while the Mid Cork side were defeated 33-17 by Malone at Tanner Park.

In Division 2A of the Men’s All Ireland League, fourth-placed Cashel welcome Dolphin, who are fifth, to the Premier County. Cashel hold a three-point advantage over Dolphin following their 40-19 bonus point away win over Old Crescent. Dolphin, who made a promising start to the campaign, but lost three successive games, came from behind to record a valuable maximum-point 29-20 home win over MU Barnhall last time out.

Bottom side Nenagh Ormond welcome seventh-placed Old Crescent to New Ormond Park. The North Tipperary side go into the tie on the back of a heavy 46-12 defeat by Ballymena at Eaton Park, while Old Crescent lost their last match 40-19 to Cashel at Takumi Park.

UL Bohemian, who are hovering above the drop zone, following their heavy 40-8 defeat by leaders Queen’s University in Belfast, face another tough assignment, as they go head to head with third-placed Ballymena at the UL Arena. The County Antrim side go into the on the back of a 46-12 home win over Nenagh Ormond.

Sunday’s Well, who are propping up the table in Division 2C, will have their work cut out as they welcome fourth-placed Bangor to Musgrave Park. The Leesiders, who are still without a win were defeated 33-5 by leaders Skerries at Holmpatrick last time out, while Bangor go into the tie on the back of a 36-12 home defeat by second-placed Enniscorthy.

Clonmel, who are also seeking their first victory and are second from bottom, face a tough assignment as they travel to the Faithful County to take on third-placed Tullamore. The County Offaly side ran out 16-13 away winners over Bruff, while Clonmel claimed a losing bonus point from their 9-6 defeat by City of Derry on Foyleside.

Fifth-placed Midleton, who ran out maximum-point 31-10 home winners over City of Derry last time out, travel to County Tyrone to take on fifth-placed Omagh Academicals, with the Ulster side going into the tie on the back of a narrow 17-15 home win over Bruff.

Bruff, who are seventh, face a tricky task as they travel to the Model County to take on second-placed Enniscorthy. Bruff claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 16-13 home defeat by Tullamore, while the County Wexford side returned home with five points from their 36-12 triumph over Bangor.

Provincial Preview

The semi-finals of the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup and Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield are down for decision this weekend.

There is also a handful of games across Conferences C, D and E in the Munster Junior League.

In the semi-finals of the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup, two West Tipperary sides have home ties as Kilfeacle entertain Newcastle West and Clanwilliam welcome Mallow to Tipperary Town.
Kilfeacle lost at home to Newcastle West last week in the league 24-19 and will be out to avenge that defeat.

Mallow without a win in the league have played their best rugby in Cup competitions this season and a place in the final would be a big boost to them.

Thurles lock horns with Kanturk in one of the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield semi-finals, while the other tie sees St Mary’s taking on Ballincollig at Grove Island.

On Saturday evening in Conference D of the Munster Junior League, Kinsale, who are joint fourth with Charleville, welcome Killorglin to South Cork. The Seasiders will be looking to maintain their challenge for a top-four finish as they recorded a maximum-point 27-21 home win over Cobh Pirates last time out.

The Mid Kerry side are propping up the table on four points following their heavy 43-5 defeat by Kanturk in Duhallow.

In the same Conference on Sunday, Charleville, who share fourth place with Kinsale, are also at home to Kerry opposition as they entertain Tralee. The North Cork side ran out 21-12 away winners over Cobh Pirates last time out. The Kingdom side, who are fifth, were defeated 25-18 by Fermoy at the Showgrounds and returned home with a losing bonus point.

In Conference C, third-placed Dungarvan will be looking to maintain their challenge as they welcome Scariff to West Waterford. Dungarvan recorded a maximum-point 34-14 away win over Waterford City, while the East Clare side were defeated 32-12 by Ennis in their Banner County derby.

Mitchelstown, who are propping up the table on two losing bonus points are at home to fellow strugglers Waterford City, with both sides going into the tie on the back of defeats by Dungarvan.

Unbeaten Conference E leaders Castleisland, who have made it three wins from three following their 23-5 away win over Douglas, welcome Youghal to the Kingdom. The Seasiders recorded their first win of the campaign last time out as they defeated Douglas 24-21 in East Cork.

Killarney are at home to bottom side Chorca Dhuibhne, in a Kerry derby. The East Kerry side will be looking to maintain their challenge as they recorded a 13-0 home win over Youghal last time out. The West Kerry Gaeltacht side are propping up the table on zero points following their 40-5 home defeat by second-placed Bantry Bay.

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