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Preview | Senior And Junior Rugby

17th February 2022 By Leonard Allen

Preview | Senior And Junior Rugby

UCC’s Eoin Monahan ©INPHO

The Men’s All Ireland League resumes with a full series of games across all five divisions, following a three-week break and it is the final weekend of action in the Women’s All Ireland Leagues before the play-offs.

Senior Rugby

In Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League, Young Munster face a tough assignment as they travel to the Capital to take on leaders Clontarf at Castle Avenue. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of successive League defeats by Dublin University and Garryowen, with their last victory coming against UCD, where they ran out 27-20 home winners. The Limerick side were also defeated by Lansdowne in the recent Bateman Cup final, while Clontarf go into the tie on the back of a 26-13 home win over struggling UCC. The Dublin side claimed maximum points from November’s Corresponding fixture, which they won on a 33-17 scoreline.

Cork Constitution, who have climbed up to fourth following their 26-15 home win over bottom side Ballynahinch, are away to UCD. The Dublin Students, who are 12 points clear of the drop zone, go into the tie on the back of a heavy 60-8 defeat by Terenure College at Lakelands Park. The Lilywhites ran out 38-10 winners when these sides met at Temple Hill, which was their second win of the campaign.

Garryowen will have their work cut out as they welcome third-placed Terenure College to Dooradoyle. The Sky Blues were defeated 46-5 by Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium last time out, while Terenure College go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 60-8 home win over UCD. The Dublin side ran out 25-13 winners over Garryowen at Lakelands Park.

UCC welcome Ballynahinch to the Mardyke for their basement clash. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Clontarf and Cork Constitution in their respective games. The County Down side are second from bottom and still without a win. UCC, who are propping up the table recorded their only victory to date on a 26-13 scoreline in November’s corresponding fixture.

In the top four of the Women’s All Ireland League, UL Bohemian travel to the Capital to take on Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park. Both sides were defeated by Railway Union and Blackrock College respectively in their last games. UL Bohemian have already recorded victories over Old Belvedere in Division 1 in October and in the Top Four in January.

Ballincollig face a tough assignment in the Conference as they travel to Galway to take on Galwegians at Crowley Park. The Mid Cork side were defeated 34-22 by Suttonians at Tanner Park last time out, while Galwegians go into the tie on the back of a maximum-point 41-0 home win over Malone. Ballincollig ran out 31-17 winners when these sides met in Division 1 in October at Tanner Park.

Back to the Men’s All Ireland League, the game of the day in Division 1B is the top of the table clash between leaders Old Wesley and second-placed Highfield at Energia Park. The Dublin side hold a six-point advantage over Highfield, who ran out 20-7 winners when these sides met at Woodleigh Park. Old Wesley ran out 22-17 home winners over near neighbours Old Wesley in a Dublin derby last time out. Highfield recorded a 19-8 home victory over Bainbridge in their last game, following two games without a win against Shannon and a defeat by City of Armagh.

Shannon have slipped to fifth following their 38-29 defeat by Naas at Forenaughts, which leaves them three points adrift of the County Kildare side, who are fourth. The Limerick side entertain Navan, who were defeated 36-28 by St Mary’s College in the Royal County, at Thomond Park.

Cashel have climbed up to second place in Division 2A following their narrow 22-19 home win over Old Crescent. They travel to County Antrim to take on third-placed Ballymena over whom they have a two-point advantage. Ballymena were defeated 41-7 by Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary last time out and Cashel ran out 24-14 winners in November’s corresponding fixture.

Leaders Queen’s University welcome struggling Nenagh Ormond to Dub Lane. The Belfast Students go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 58-5 away win over UL Bohemian, while Nenagh Ormond recorded a valuable maximum-point home win over Ballymena. Queen’s University claimed all points on offer from November’s 45-15 victory over Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary.

Seventh-placed Dolphin travel to Athlone to take on Buccaneers, who are fourth. The Leesiders go into the tie on the back of a heavy 50-24 defeat by MU Barnhall in County Kildare, while Buccaneers recorded a maximum-point 60-3 away win over Rainey Old Boys.

Old Crescent entertain MU Barnhall at Takumi Park in a mid-table clash. MU Barnhall recorded a comprehensive 50-24 home win over Dolphin last time out, while The Limerick side claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 22-19 defeat by Cashel at the Spafield. Old Crescent ran out 23-18 winners when these sides met in November.

UL Bohemian, who are three points above the drop zone, travel to Magherafelt to take on bottom side Rainey Old Boys. Both sides go into the tie on the back of heavy defeats by Queen’s University and Buccaneers, respectively. The Limerick side ran out 32-24 winners when these sides met at Annacotty in November.

In Division 2C, Midleton who are sixth and ten points adrift of the top four, face a tricky task as they travel to North County Dublin to take on second-placed Skerries. Midleton go into the tie on the back of a narrow 20-19 win over City of Derry on Foyleside. Skerries were defeated 14-9 by Sunday’s Well at Musgrave Park last time out and returned home with a losing bonus point. They recorded a narrow 28-27 win In November’s corresponding fixture, which resulted in a losing bonus point for the East Cork side.

Bruff, who are three points clear of the drop zone in seventh place, entertain fifth-placed Omagh Academicals at Kilballyowen Park. The County Tyrone side are nine points adrift of the top four and they were defeated 8-6 by Clonmel at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields and finished with a losing bonus point. Bruff were defeated 28-7 by Tullamore in the Faithful County last time out, while they were also defeated 17-15 when these sides met in Omagh and returned home with a losing bonus point.

Clonmel, who are second from bottom and recorded their first win of the campaign over Omagh Academicals in County Tyrone, welcome City of Derry, who are hovering above the relegation zone, to South Tipperary. The Foylesiders lost their last game 20-19 at home to Midleton and claimed a losing bonus point. They also won November’s meeting at Judge’s Road on a 9-6 scoreline, which resulted in a losing bonus point for Clonmel.

Bottom side Sunday’s Well will have their work cut out as they lock horns with leaders Enniscorthy at Musgrave Park. The Leesiders recorded their second win of the campaign as they recorded a 14-9 home victory over Skerries last time out. The Model County side go into the tie on the back of a 29-25 home win over Bangor and they put up 32 unanswered points in November’s corresponding fixture.

Junior Rugby

The Munster Junior League resumes with a full programme of games as both Sections A and B enter the closing stages.

Unbeaten leaders Bandon will be looking to make the most of home advantage count in a bid to maintain their title challenge as they lock horns with third-placed Kilfeacle at Old Chapel. The West Cork side defeated Thomond 6-3 in Limerick, while the Premier County side go into the tie on the back of a 21-10 home win over Old Christians.

Second-placed Newcastle West are away to Muskerry, who are sixth. The West Limerick side are three points behind Bandon and they claimed all points on offer from their 31-0 victory over Waterpark on Suirside. The Sky Blues were narrowly defeated 36-32 by Kilfeacle at Ballyanly and they claimed two bonus points as they scored four tries.

Fourth-placed Thomond, who claimed a losing bonus point from their 6-3 home defeat by Bandon, travel to Rathcooney to take on Old Christians, who were defeated 21-10 by Kilfeacle in West Tipperary.

Richmond and Waterpark lock horns at Richmond Park with both sides sharing fifth place on 11 points apiece and are three points behind Thomond. Waterpark were defeated by Newcastle West at Ballinakill last time out and Richmond lost their last game on a 30-12 scoreline against Bandon in West Cork in late January. A bonus point win for either side would be a boost to their outside chances of a top four finish.

In Section B, leaders Clanwilliam entertain Mallow in a game that has been transferred to Musgrave Park as Clanwilliam prepare for the Challenge Cup final at that venue next month. The Premier County side ran out 34-8 home winners over Skibbereen in their last game in late January, while Mallow go into the tie on the back of a 6-0 home win over Abbeyfeale.

Abbeyfeale, who are joint second with Crosshaven, will be looking to make the most of home advantage count in a bid to bounce back from their 6-0 defeat by Mallow in North Cork as they entertain Clonakilty. The West Cork side were defeated 12-6 by St Senan’s in the Banner County in late January. Abbeyfeale and Clonakilty both claimed losing bonus points from their last games.

Crosshaven are away to bottom side Galbally. The Seasiders go into the tie on the back of a 17-3 home win over St Senan’s while the County Limerick side recorded their first win as they defeated Skibbereen 7-3.

St Senan’s and Skibbereen meet at Jimmy Slattery Park.

Kanturk, who are unbeaten in Section C and playing for a higher ranking, go head to head with Dungarvan in Duhallow and both sides’ last League games were before Christmas. Kanturk ran out 17-8 home winners over Ballincollig in early December, while the West Waterford were defeated 15-8 by St Mary’s in Limerick at the start of November.

Second-placed Thurles travel to Tanner Park to meet Ballincollig, who share seventh place with Fermoy. The Premier side recorded a comprehensive 45-5 maximum point away win over Fethard in November, while Ballincollig claimed a losing bonus point from a 12-10 defeat by Charleville at Smith’s Road in December.

Fermoy face a tough assignment as they lock horns with third-placed St Mary’s at the Showgrounds. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a narrow 19-17 home win over Charleville, while Fermoy claimed a losing bonus point from their 15-11 defeat by the same opposition at Smith’s Road in November.

Charleville host Fethard at Smith’s Road. The North Cork side go into the tie on the back of a narrow 19-17 defeat by St Mary’s in Limerick, while Fethard’s last game was a 24-19 home win over St Mary’s in November.

Section D leaders Kinsale, who recorded a maximum point 47-20 away win over Mitchelstown, travel to the Banner County to take on Ennis. The Clare side were defeated 27-3 by Killorglin in the Kingdom last time out.

Second-placed Tralee, who recorded a narrow 8-3 home win over Waterford City, are away to Mitchelstown and the Suirsiders are at home to Cobh Pirates. The Pirates claimed all points on offer from their 27-0 home win over Scariff.

In Conference E, unbeaten leaders Castleisland welcome Douglas to the Kingdom. The Kerry side ran out 15-5 away winners over Youghal in their last League game in December. Douglas go into the tie one the back of a 50-24 home defeat by Youghal in mid-January, in which they scored four tries and earned a bonus point. Castleisland won November’s corresponding fixture 23-5 at Castletreasure.

Second-placed Killarney are away to Chorca Dhuibhne against whom they ran out 36-26 home winners in early December.

Bantry Bay and Youghal are tied on 11 points apiece in third place are four points adrift of Killarney and they meet in West Cork. Bantry Bay won October’s corresponding fixture 26-25, from which they claimed all points on offer and Youghal claimed a losing bonus point. The West Cork side ran out 40-5 maximum point away winners over Chorca Dhuibhne in their last League game in November, while Youghal defeated Douglas 50-23 and returned home from Castletreasure with maximum points.

In Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League, leaders Kerry, whose unbeaten run was ended by a 7-0 defeat by Shannon-LIT in Tralee in late January, travel to Thurles to take on Tipperary. The Premier County defeated Shannon-LIT 15-5 at Coonagh last time out.

Division 2 leaders Skibbereen welcome UL Bohemian, who are joint-fourth with Bantry Bay, to the Carbery Showgrounds and both sides’ last games were against Waterpark. The West Cork side recorded a maximum-point 44-12 away win over the Suirsiders, while UL Bohemian were defeated 28-0 by the same opposition at Annacotty.

Bottom side Dolphin, who have a single losing bonus point to their credit go head to head with Bantry Bay at Musgrave Park. Dolphin go into the tie on the back of a 36-0 defeat by Ballincollig at Tanner Park, while the West Cork side put up 28 points without reply against UL Bohemian at Annacotty and returned home with maximum points.

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