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Weekend Preview

23rd February 2023 By Leonard Allen

Weekend Preview

UL Bohs and Ballincollig face off in the Women's AIL Cup this weekend ©INPHO

It is a busy weekend with a full programme of games in the Men’s All Ireland League and the Women’s AIL Cup series also continues.

In Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League, third-placed Cork Constitution will be looking to get back to winning ways following their 25-19 defeat by Lansdowne in Dublin, as they welcome UCD, who are hovering above the drop zone to Temple Hill. The Lilywhites, who returned from the Capital with a losing bonus point and remain third, while the Dublin Students were defeated 43-17 by Shannon in Limerick. Cork Constitution won November’s corresponding fixture 36-31 at Belfield, where UCD claimed two bonus points, as they scored four tries.

Fourth-placed Young Munster, who claimed two bonus points from their 27-24 defeat by Clontarf at Castle Avenue as they scored four tries, face a tricky task as they welcome Ballynahinch, who are fifth, to Tom Clifford Park. The County Down side recorded a narrow 10-8 victory over Terenure College last time out. They also ran out 25-20 winners when they met Young Munster at Ballymacrarn Park, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Limerick side.

Garryowen and Shannon lock horns in a basement clash at Dooradoyle, with both sides occupying the relegation places. Garryowen go into the tie on the back of a heavy 52-12 defeat by UCD at Belfield, while Shannon ran out 43-17 winners over Dublin University on the Back Pitch at Thomond Park. Shannon recorded a 30-19 win when these sides met on the Main Pitch of Thomond Park in November.

Highfield, who have slipped to fourth following their 22-7 defeat by Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park, face a tough assignment as they welcome City of Armagh to Woodleigh Park. The Ulster side have claimed pole position, following their 34-12 maximum point home win over Banbridge last time out and they also ran out 31-19 winners when they met Highfield in November.

UCC, who are hovering above the drop zone, travel to County Kildare to take on seventh-placed Naas. The Leeside Students were defeated 19-10 by Buccaneers at the Mardyke, while the Kildare side go into the tie on the back of a 27-20 away win over St Mary’s College. Naas won November’s corresponding fixture, 26-21 at the Mardyke, resulting in a losing bonus point for UCC.

Nenagh Ormond, who have climbed up to fourth place in Division 2A following their bonus point 28-7 home win over Old Crescent, travel to Leeside, to take on struggling Dolphin at Musgrave Park. The Leesiders are tied on 17 points with UL Bohemian following their 10-10 draw with Cashel in the Premier County. The North Tipperary side ran out 27-15 winners, when these sides met at New Ormond Park.

Cashel, who have slipped to fifth, following their 10-10 draw with Dolphin at the Spafield, travel to County Antrim, to take on Ballymena at Eaton Park. Ballymena were defeated 31-14 by MU Barnhall in County Kildare but are 12 points clear of the relegation places. Cashel put up 27 points without reply when these sides met in the Premier County.

Old Crescent face a tricky task as they entertain Limerick neighbours UL Bohemian at Takumi Park. Old Crescent were defeated 28-7 by Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary, while UL Bohemian recorded a valuable maximum point 31-19 home win over Queen’s University. Old Crescent recorded a narrow 27-25 victory in November’s corresponding fixture at Annacotty.

In Division 2C, fourth-placed Clonmel travel to County Down to take on Bangor, who are sixth. The South Tipperary side ran out 34-12 home winners over Ballina last time out and claimed all points on offer. Bangor lost 37-29 against Midleton and returned home with a bonus point as they scored four tries. Clonmel ran out 33-12 winners when they met Bangor in South Tipperary.

Bruff who are six points adrift of Clonmel in fifth place travel to North Mayo to take on Ballina, who are second from bottom at Heffernan Park. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Instonians and Clonmel respectively. Bruff recorded a comprehensive 43-12 victory when they met Ballina in County Limerick.

Midleton, whose chances of survival received a welcome boost following their 37-29 home win over Bangor, which resulted in maximum points, face a tough assignment as they travel to North County Dublin to take on third-placed Skerries. The County Dublin side ran out 22-17 away winners and they ran out 24-14 winners over Omagh Academicals and they recorded a 24-14 victory when they met Midleton in East Cork.

Bottom side Sunday’s Well travel to Belfast to face runaway leader Instonians, who have maximum points from their games to date. The Leesiders go into the tie on the back of a 27-11 defeat by Tullamore at Musgrave Park, while Instonians recorded a 33-19 away win over Bruff. The Belfast side ran out 50-5 winners when these sides met in November.

The two Munster sides in the Women’s AIL Cup series, UL Bohemian and Ballincollig lock horns in UL. The Limerick side have maximum points from their games to date, including their 33-5 away win over Suttonians. Ballincollig will have their work cut out if they are to bounce back from their heavy 50-14 defeat by Blackrock College at Tanner Park.

Junior Preview

There is plenty of local action in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, Plate and Bowl, as well as a Munster Junior Club’s Challenge Shield game and a handful of games in Section A of the Munster Junior League.

Two playoff games in the Munster Women’s League Conference are also down for decision.

Proceedings get underway at Junior level on Saturday evening, as Youghal entertain Killroglin in their Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate clash. The winners will be away to Fethard, Dungarvan or Cashel in the quarter finals.

On Sunday in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, 2019 winners Highfield lock horns with Charleville at Woodleigh Park and the winners will be away to UCC or Thurles.

Nenagh Ormond entertain Garryowen and the winners will be rewarded with home advantage against Shannon or Newcastle West.

Kilfeacle, whose only triumph was in 2002 go head to head with Cork Constitution in West Tipperary at the second time of asking. The winners will be away to Abbeyfeale, who won the trophy in 1964 and 1966.

In the Munster Junior Plate on Sunday, Dolphin, who won the trophy in 1985, travel to Tybroughney to take on Carrick-on-Suir, with St Senan’s awaiting the winners at the Clare venue.

Ennis entertain Waterford City, who won the trophy in 1998 and 2000, in the Banner County and the winners will be away to Carrick-on-Suir, Dolphin or St Senan’s.

The semi-final of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl is down for decision as Castleisland entertain Scariff.

Cobh Pirates host Galbally-Mitchelstown in the semi-final of the Munster Junior Clubs, with Dungarvan awaiting the winners in the final.

In Section A of the Munster Junior League, Richmond will be looking to take another step closer to the title as they travel to Rathcooney to take on Old Christians. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a narrow 30-28 home win over Bandon, while Old Christians are battling against relegation. Old Christians were narrowly defeated 27-24 by Thomond at Rathcooney in their last game.

Thurles will be looking to make the most of home advantage against Waterpark in their relegation battle. Thurles, who have two games in hand, recorded a 40-19 home win over Skibberren, while Waterpark, with a game in hand defeated Thomond 28-24 in Limerick.

In the Munster Women’s League Conference, Bantry Bay lock horns with Skibbereen in a West Cork derby on Friday evening, and on Sunday, Thurles welcome UL Bohemian to the Premier County.


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