15th February 2023 By The Editor
It is a busy weekend with the Men’s All Ireland League resuming after a three-week break.
See details of all upcoming fixtures here.
All four Munster sides in Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League will be in action against Dublin opposition.
Fourth-placed Young Munster travel to the Capital to take on defending champions Clontarf, who have climbed up to second, at Castle Avenue. Young Munster defeated Dublin University 17-10 at Tom Clifford Park last time out, while Clontarf recorded a narrow 29-24 away win over Terenure College. Young Munster won November’s corresponding fixture in Limerick, from which Clontarf returned home with a losing bonus point.
Cork Constitution are also in Dublin as they take on seventh-placed Lansdowne, who are five points clear of the relegation places. The Lilywhites have slipped to third despite running out 14-3 home winners over Ballynahinch, while Lansdowne were defeated 21-17 by Garryowen at Dooradoyle and claimed a losing bonus point. The Leesiders ran out 36-25 maximum point winners, when these sides met at Temple Hill in November.
Shannon, who have slipped to ninth following their narrow 22-19 defeat by UCD at Belfield, face a tough assignment, as they welcome Dublin University, who are fifth, to Thomond Park. The Dublin Students, returned from their 17-19 defeat by Young Munster in Limerick with a losing bonus point and they defeated Shannon 34-28, when these sides met at College Park. Shannon returned from College Park with two losing bonus points as they scored four tries.
UCD, who are two points adrift of the relegation zone, lock horns with Garryowen in a basement clash at Belfield. UCD climbed out of the drop zone following their narrow 22-19 home win over Shannon, while Garryowen defeated Lansdowne 21-17 in Limerick. UCD ran out 47-22 bonus point winners when they met Garryowen at Dooradoyle.
In Division 1B, third-placed Highfield travel to the Capital to take on Old Belvedere, who are fourth, at Ollie Campbell Park. Highfield ran out 24-3 home winners over Malone at Woodleigh Park, while Old Belvedere put up 15 points without reply against City of Armagh, who have slipped to second. Highfield also won November’s corresponding fixture on Leeside, 21-10.
UCC, who recorded their first victory in eight games as they defeated Old Wesley 19-18 at Enrgeia Park, face a tricky task as they entertain new leaders Buccaneers at the Mardyke. Buccaneers ran out 31-24 winners over St Mary’s College in Athlone last time out and they also put up 29 points without reply when they met the Leeside Students in November.
Fourth-placed Cashel welcome Dolphin, who are second from bottom, to the Premier County in Division 2A. Cashel recorded a narrow 19-17 away win over Old Crescent, while Dolphin were narrowly defeated 40-38 by Ballymena at Musgrave Park. Dolphin claimed two bonus point as they scored four tries. Cashel ran out 25-19 winners in November’s corresponding fixture, resulting in a losing bonus point for Dolphin.
Nenagh Ormond, who are fifth and two points adrift of Cashel, entertain Old Crescent in North Tipperary. Nenagh Ormond ran out 24-15 winners over Queen’s University in Belfast, while the Limerick side claimed a losing bonus point from their 22-19 defeat by Ballymena in County Antrim last week. Old Crescent recorded a narrow 29-28 home win over the North Tipperary side in November.
Bottom side UL Bohemian go head to head with leaders Queen’s University at the UL Arena. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Blackrock College and Nenagh Ormond respectively. The Belfast Students recorded a comprehensive 48-19 victory over UL Bohemian in November’s corresponding fixture.
In Division 2C, fourth-placed Clonmel welcome Ballina to South Tipperary. Clonmel will be looking to get back to winning ways, following their heavy 64-0 defeat by Instonians in Belfast. Ballina ran out 25-19 winners over Midleton in North Mayo last time out. Clonmel will be looking to make it two wins out of two as they defeated Ballina 29-15 in November’s corresponding fixture.
Fifth-placed Bruff, who are two points adrift of Clonmel, face a tough assignment, as they welcome Instonians to County Limerick. The Belfast side are enjoying a juggernaut season in their first year back in the AIL, as they have recorded 12 maximum point victories in their games to date. They put up 64 points without reply against Clonmel last time out, while Bruff ran out narrow 17-14 winners over Sunday’s Well. Instonians defeated Bruff 36-28 in Belfast in November.
Midleton, who are one point clear of the drop zone will be looking to make the most of home advantage, as they entertain Bangor, who defeated Omagh Academicals 24-12 at Upritchard Park. Midleton returned from their 25-19 defeat by Ballina in North Mayo with a losing bonus point and they ran out 30-17 maximum point winners when they met Bangor in County Down.
Bottom side Sunday’s Well face a tough assignment, as they entertain second-placed Tullamore at Musgrave Park. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Bruff and Skerries respectively. Tullamore won the corresponding fixture in County Offaly, 29-10.
Locally there is a full programme of games in Section A of the Munster Junior League, as well as back log games in Section B and C. There is also action in the Munster Women’s Division 1 and Division 2 Cups.
In the semi-finals of the Munster Women’s Division 1 Cup, Kerry host Shannon-LIT at Tralee and UL Bohemian face Skibbereen at Annacotty.
Ballincollig host Waterpark at Tanner Park and Bantry Bay entertain Mallow in the Munster Women’s Division 2 Cup semi-finals.
In Section A of the Munster Junior League, leaders Richmond will be looking to take another step closer to the title as they travel to Rathcooney, to take on struggling Old Christians. Richmond have opened up a ten-point gap at the summit of the table, following their 30-28 bonus point home win over Bandon. Old Christians go into the tie on the back of a narrow 27-24 home defeat by Thomond, where they claimed a losing bonus point.
Second-placed Bandon will be looking to make the most of home advantage as they lock horns with near neighbours Clonakilty in a West Cork derby at Old Chapel. Bandon are ten points behind Richmond following their narrow 30-28 defeat at Richmond Park. Clonakilty will have their work cut out if they are to move away from the relegation places.
Newcastle West, who have a game in hand, travel to West Cork, to take on Skibbereen at the Carbery Showgrounds. Newcastle West are tied with Bandon on 42 points, claimed all points on offer in the recent West Limerick derby, where they defeated near neighbours Abbeyfeale 38-19. This is a tough assignment for Skibbereen, as they bid to preserve their top-flight status.
Third-placed Kilfeacle and Mallow, who are fourth lock horns in West Tipperary, with one point separating these sides. Kilfeacle ran out 23-12 away winners over Clonakilty last time out, while Mallow put up 29 points without reply against St Mary’s at the North Cork venue.
There is a Tipperary derby between Clanwilliam and Thurles at Clanwilliam Park, with five points separating these sides. The Tipperary Town side can take another step closer to safety following their 16-13 away win over Crosshaven, while Thurles will be looking to build on their bonus point 40-19 home win over Skibbereen.
Thomond who are tied on 28 points with Clanwilliam, go head to head with Waterpark, who are hovering above the drop zone. Thomond will be looking to make home advantage count in a bid to move closer to preserving their top flight status, following their narrow 27-24 away win over Old Christians. The Suirsiders go into the tie on the back of a narrow 26-24 defeat by Muskerry, where they claimed a losing bonus point.
St Mary’s and Crosshaven lock horns in a basement clash at Grove Island, with both sides going into the tie on the back of defeats by Mallow and Clanwilliam respectively. St Mary’s lost 29-0 to Mallow in North Cork, while Crosshaven claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 16-13 home defeat by Clanwilliam.
Bottom side Abbeyfeale host Muskerry following their West Limerick derby, where they lost 38-19 to Newcastle West. The Mid Cork side will be aiming to build on their maximum point 26-24 win over Waterpark in a bid to preserve their top flight status.
Section B leaders Fethard travel to East Clare to take on Scariff, in the final game of the campaign for both sides. Scariff face a tricky task following their heavy 31-3 home defeat by St Senan’s if they are to climb out of the relegation zone. Fethard go into the tie on the back of an 18-7 home win over Waterford City.
Fermoy will have their work cut out in their bid to qualify for the play-off places as they make the relatively short trip to the Paddocks to take on Cobh Pirates. The North Cork side will be looking to bounce back from their 19-9 defeat by Galbally-Mitchelstown, while Cobh will be aiming to build on their maximum point 29-18 away win over Ennis.
Waterford City face a tough assignment as they aim to climb out of the drop zone and finish their campaign on a winning note, as they entertain Galbally-Mitchelstown. The Suirsiders were heavily defeated 46-13 by Youghal in East Cork, while Galbally-Mitchelstown are looking to continue their promotion challenge, following their 19-9 victory over Fermoy.
Dungarvan lock horns with near neighbours Youghal, who have three games in hand, at the West Waterford venue. Dungarvan ran out 31-25 maximum point home winners over Carrick-on-Suir, while Youghal also claimed all points on offer from their 46-13 home win over Waterford City.
Carrick-on-Suir, who will be playing in Division 3 next season, welcome fellow strugglers Ennis to Tybroughney. Ennis will be looking to climb out of the drop zone following their 29-18 home defeat by Cobh Pirates. Carrick’ will be looking to end the campaign on a winning note as they claimed a losing bonus point from their 31-25 defeat by Dungarvan in West Waterford.
Fourth-placed Ballincollig host third-placed Charleville in the final game in Section C, to decide who goes into the play-offs with Kanturk and Kinsale. Charleville are third on 28 points, while Ballincollig are fourth on 25. Ballincollig ended Kanturk’s unbeaten run in a dramatic game at Tanner Park where they claimed maximum points, as they scored five tries in a 44-43 win. Charleville won their last game 19-15 against Castleisland.