26th January 2023 By The Editor
It is another busy weekend with a full program of games across all five divisions of the Men’s All Ireland League while the Women’s AIL Cup also kicks off.
In Division 1A of the All Ireland League, Cork Constitution, who have climbed up to second following their 24-12 maximum point away win over Clontarf, welcome Ballynahinch, who are fifth, to Temple Hill. The County Down side go into the tie on the back of a 24-7 home win over Garryowen. The Lilywhites will be looking to make it two wins from two, as they won the corresponding fixture 20-13 in November.
The three Limerick sides are in action against Dublin opposition.
Young Munster, who are sixth, entertain fourth-placed Dublin University at Tom Clifford Park. There are two points separating these sides and Young Munster go into the tie on the back of a 31-27 maximum-point home win over Shannon. The Limerick side won November’s meeting at College Park 25-24, while the Dublin Students go into the tie following a 12-7 home defeat by Terenure College, where they claimed a losing bonus point.
Shannon, who are eighth, travel to the Capital to take on UCD in a basement clash. Both side’s go into the tie on the back of away defeats by Young Munster and Lansdowne respectively, where they both claimed a losing bonus point each. Shannon also got a second bonus point in their defeat by Young Munster, as they scored four tries. They also won November’s corresponding fixture, 36-24.
Garryowen, who are propping up the table and still seeking their first win, lock horns with Lansdowne at Dooradoyle. The Sky Blues go into the tie on the back of 11 defeats from 11 as they were defeated 24-7 by Ballynahinch in County Down last time out. Lansdowne recorded a narrow 23-20 victory over UCD on the Back Pitch of the Aviva Stadium. They also won November’s meeting with Garryowen 47-28, where the Limerick side claimed a bonus point as they scored four tries.
Highfield, who have climbed up to third following their maximum point 34-10 Leeside derby victory over UCC, entertain bottom side Malone at Woodleigh Park in Division 1B. The Belfast side go into the tie on the back of an 18-8 home defeat by Old Belvedere. The Leesiders ran out 20-17 winners when these sides met in Belfast, resulting in a losing bonus point for Malone.
UCC, who are hovering above the drop zone, following their 34-10 home defeat by Highfield, travel to the Capital to take on Old Wesley, who are fifth. The Dublin side recorded a 28-12 home win over Banbridge last time out, and they also won November’s corresponding fixture, 25-15.
Old Crescent, who have a game in hand with Ballymena in Division 2A, face a tricky task as they welcome Cashel to Takumi Park. The Tipperary side have slipped to fourth following their 21-17 home defeat by Queen’s University, from which they claimed a losing bonus point. The Limerick side will be looking to make the most of home advantage in a bid to continue their recent good run, which saw them do the Double over Dolphin. Cashel ran out 14-8 winners when these sides met in Limerick, resulting in a losing bonus point for Old Crescent.
Fifth-placed Nenagh Ormond will have their work cut out as they travel to Belfast to take on Queen’s University. The North Tipperary side ran out 20-10 home winners over Blackrock College last time out and they also defeated the Belfast Students 32-24 in November. Queen’s University won their last game 21-17 against Cashel in the Premier County.
Dolphin and Ballymena lock horns in their basement clash at Musgrave Park, with six points separating these sides. Dolphin were defeated 34-14 by MU Barnhall at Musgrave Park last time out, but they claimed a bonus point, as they scored four tries. The County Antrim side were defeated 43-25 by Queen’s University in their last game and they also have a game in hand against Old Crescent. Ballymena ran out 26-10 winners when they met Dolphin at Eaton Park.
UL Bohemian, who are propping up the table, face a tough assignment as they travel to Dublin to take on Blackrock College at Stradbrook. UL Bohemian claimed a losing bonus point from their recent narrow 19-17 defeat by Navan. They also claimed two losing bonus points, as they scored four tries, when they met Blackrock College at the UL Arena. The Dublin side go into the tie on the back of a 20-10 defeat by Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary.
The game of the day in Division 2C is the meeting of runaway leaders Instonians, who have 11 maximum point wins from 11 and fourth-placed Clonmel at Shawsbridge. Instonians defeated Midleton 26-6 in East Cork last time out and they also won November’s corresponding fixture 28-14 in South Tipperary. Clonmel go into the tie on the back of a 23-10 maximum point home win over Bruff.
Midleton, who are hovering above the drop zone, travel to North Mayo, to take on Ballina, with whom they played out a 13-13 draw at Towns Park in November. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Instonians and Omagh Academicals respectively.
Bruff, who are fifth, entertain bottom side Sunday’s Well at Kilballyowen Park. The County Limerick side were defeated 23-10 by Clonmel in South Tipperary last time out, while Sunday’s Well were defeated 32-5 by Skerries at Holmpatrick. Bruff won November’s responding fixture 10-3 at Musgrave Park.
In the Women’s AIL Cup, Ballincollig travel to Belfast to take on Cooke RFC on Saturday while UL Bohemian travel to Galway to take on Galwegians.
There is action in the second round of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, together with two first round ties and proceedings also get underway in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl.
Action continues in Section A of the Munster Junior League and there are also ties in the Munster Women’s Division 1 Cup and Conference A of the Women’s Munster League down for decision.
In Round One of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, Waterford City welcome Scariff to Suirside and the winners will be rewarded with a home tie against Tralee.
Douglas travel to Carrick-on-Suir, with Kanturk awaiting the winners in Duhallow.
In Round Two, 2009 and 2010 winners UL Bohemian make the relatively short trip to Charleville and the winners will be at home to Kinsale or Fethard, who meet in South Cork.
Dungravan entertain Ballincollig and the winners will be at home to Galbally-Mitchelstown or Youghal, who meet in Galbally.
Fermoy lock horns with Dolphin, who last won the trophy in 1944. The winners will be rewarded with a home tie against Shannon, whose last triumph was in 2015.
Killorglin welcome 1997 and 1998 winners Midleton to the Kingdom. Abbeyfeale, who won the trophy in 1964 and 1966, await the winners at the West Limerick venue.
Nenagh Ormond, whose last triumph was in 2004, welcome Ennis to North Tipperary and the winners will be away to Muskerry.
St Senan’s lock horns with Old Crescent in the Banner County and Mallow await the winners in North Cork.
Thurles host near neighbours and 2011 winners Cashel and the winners will be away to Thomond, who last won the trophy in 1991.
Two first round ties of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl are down for decision in Kerry as Killarney entertain Bruff and Castleisland host Clonmel.
Richmond have opened up a five-point gap at the top of Section A of the Munster Junior League and they will be looking to take another step closer to the title as they entertain Skibbereen, who are in mid-table. Richmond claimed all points on offer from their 31-24 victory over Kilfeacle in West Tipperary, while Skibbereen put up 10 points without reply against Crosshaven at the Carbery Showgrounds.
Third-placed Kilfeacle, who are seven points behind Richmond, will be looking to get back to winning ways as they entertain Thomond, who are two points clear of the drop zone. Kilfeacle claimed two bonus points from their 31-24 home defeat by Richmond, while Thomond’s reward from their home tie with Muskerry was a losing bonus point from their 27-21 defeat.
Defending champions Newcastle West, who have two games in hand, welcome Clonakilty to West Limerick. Newcastle West defeated Waterpark 14-9 at Ballinakill last time out, while Clonakilty took another step closer to safety following their 22-14 away win over St Mary’s.
Old Christians, who were defeated 7-0 by Bandon at Old Chapel and returned home with a valuable losing bonus point, entertain Clanwilliam, who defeated Mallow 15-10 in Tipperary Town.
In Conference A of the Women’s Munster League, second-placed Skibbereen welcome bottom side Shannon-LIT to the Carbery Showgrounds. Skibbereen recorded a comprehensive 47-0 away win when these sides met in Coonagh in early December.
Ballincollig entertain UL Bohemian in the opening round of the Munster Women’s Division 1 Cup.