18th October 2023 By Leonard Allen
It is another busy weekend with full programmes of games in the Men’s and Women’s All Ireland Leagues.
In Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League, leaders Shannon who have maximum points from their opening games, welcome newly-promoted City of Armagh to Thomond Park. Shannon recorded a 37-5 bonus point win over Young Munster at Tom Clifford Park last time out, while the Ulster side returned home with two bonus points, as they scored four tries in their narrow 29-26 defeat by Lansdowne in the Palace Grounds.
Cork Constitution, who returned with two losing bonus points as they scored four tries in their narrow 29-26 defeat by Ballynahinch in County Down, travel to Dublin to take on holders Terenure College, who have slipped to seventh.
Young Munster, who are propping up the table, are also in the capital as they take on Dublin University in a basement clash, with both sides seeking their first points.
Highfield, who are second in Division 1B, welcome bottom side Buccaneers to Woodleigh Park. Highfield returned from Dublin with a narrow win as they defeated Blackrock College 24-21 at Stradbrook with a last minute drop goal by Shane O’Riordan, while the Athlone side are propping up the table on zero points.
UCC, who have climbed up to seventh place, following their maximum-point 36-20 victory over Buccaneers in Athlone, are away to St Mary’s College, who recorded a 38-22 bonus point victory over Old Wesley at Energia Park.
Garryowen, who are hovering above the drop zone following their 20-12 home win over Old Belvedere, face a tough assignment, as they travel to Belfast to take on Queen’s University. The Belfast Students have climbed up to fifth, following their maximum-point 50-33 win over Naas in County Kildare.
The game of the day in Division 2A is the meeting of leaders Neangh Ormond and third-placed Navan at New Ormond Park. The North Tipperary side recorded a narrow 17-16 away win over MU Barnhall, while Navan defeated Old Crescent 26-19 in the Royal County.
Cashel, who have climbed up to fourth following their comprehensive 40-5 bonus point home win over Malone, travel to County Wicklow to take on second-placed Greystones, who recorded 22-19 home win over Ballymena.
Fifth-placed Old Crescent travel to County Antrim to take in Ballymena at Eaton Park. Old Crescent claimed a losing bonus point from their 26-19 defeat by Navan at the County Meath venue, while Ballymena are seeking their first win, having claimed a losing point from both of their games to date.
UL Bohemian have climbed up to seventh following their 27-10 bonus point victory over Banbridge at Annacotty. They travel to Belfast to take on Malone, who are propping up the table on zero points.
In Division 2B, Dolphin who are hovering above the drop zone following their narrow 21-19 victory over Belfast Harlequins, travel to North County Dublin to take on bottom side Skerries, who are seeking their first points.
Bruff, who have climbed up to third in Division 2C, welcome Bangor, who are hovering above the drop zone with two losing bonus points to their credit, to Kilballyowen Park.
Clonmel, who are sixth, face a tricky task, as they welcome second-placed Galwegians to South Tipperary. The Galway side have maximum points from their games to date, while Clonmel go into the tie on the back of a 23-17 away win over Bangor.
Midleton will have their work cut out as they entertain leaders Clogher Valley at Towns Park. The County Tyrone side recorded bonus point victories in both of their games to date, while Midleton were defeated 41-22 by Galwegians at Crowley Park last time out, but they returned home with a bonus point as they scored four tries.
In the Women’s All Ireland League, leaders UL Bohemian entertain third-placed Blackrock College at Annacotty. The Limerick side have maximum points from their games to date as the defeated Cooke 57-5 at Annacotty last time out. Blackrock College go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 55-5 home win over Galwegians.
Ballincollig, who are third following their narrow 18-17 home win over Wicklow, travel to second-placed Railway Union, who ran out 63-5 away winners over Galwegians last time out.
There is a full programme of games in the Munster Junior League, with two of these taking place on Saturday, and the Munster Women’s Open Cup and Bowl continue.
In Division 1 of the Munster Junior League, Muskerry, who claimed a losing bonus point from their 20-13 defeat by Clanwilliam in Tipperary Town, will have their work cut out as they entertain Sunday’s Well, who ran out comprehensive 52-3 winners over Charleville last time out.
Crosshaven entertain Waterpark at Myrtleville Cross in a Division Two clash. The South Cork side claimed maximum points from their 40-15 away win over Abbeyfeale, while Waterpark recorded a narrow 13-11 victory over Fermoy at Ballinakill.
On Sunday, 2018 champions Bandon welcome Clanwilliam to Old Chapel. Bandon were held to an 18-18 draw by Skibbereen in their West Cork derby, while Clanwilliam ran out 20-13 home winners over Muskerry.
Charleville will have their work cut out, as they go head to head with Thomond at Smith’s Road. The North Cork side go into the tie on the back of a heavy 52-3 defeat by Sunday’s Well, while Thomond ran out 57-3 home winners over Clonakilty.
Two former AIL sides lock horns as Clonakilty host Kanturk, with both sides seeking their first points following heavy defeats by Thomond and Thurles respectively.
Kilfeacle welcome Skibbereen to West Tipperary. The Premier County side claimed maximum points from their 26-12 away win over champions Richmond, while Skibbereen were held to an 18-18 draw by Bandon at the Carbery Showgrounds.
Thurles welcome Mallow to the Premier County, with both sides going into the tie on the back of victories over Kanturk and Newcastle West respectively.
The game of the day in Division 2 on Sunday is the meeting of Old Christians and Ballincollig at Rathcooney, with both sides going into the tie on the back of victories over Fethard and Youghal respectively.
Fermoy entertain near neighbours Galbally-Mitchelstown at the Showgrounds. Fermoy claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 13-11 defeat by Waterpark on Suirside, while Galbally-Mitchelstown are seeking their first points, following their 29-5 home defeat by Tralee.
Cobh Pirates claimed a losing bonus point from their 27-21 away defeat by Kinsale and they welcome St Mary’s to the Paddocks. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a 22-14 home win over St Senan’s.
St Senan’s lock horns with Abbeyfeale at Jimmy Slattery Park, with both sides seeking their first points, following defeats by St Mary’s and Crosshaven respectively.
Tralee welcome Fethard to the Kingdom. Tralee recorded maximum-point 29-3 away win over Galbally-Mitchelstown, while the South Tipperary side are seeking their first points following their 34-17 away defeat by Old Christians.
Youghal who were defeated 26-12 by Ballincollig at Tanner Park, entertain Kinsale, who defeated Cobh Pirates 21-17 at the South Cork venue.
In Division 3, Ardscoil Old Boys mark their debut in the Junior League with a home tie against Chorca Dhuibhne, who are back after a one-year absence.
Ennis welcome Waterford City to the Banner County for their first match of the campaign.
Killarney face a tricky task as they entertain Scariff. The East Clare side claimed maximum points for their 24-5 home win over Douglas, while Killarney were heavily defeated 58-7 by Dungarvan in Youghal.
Killorglin, who were defeated 24-7 by Castleisland in their opener, will have their work cut out as they go in search of their first points against Dungarvan, who recorded a 58-7 maximum-point home win over Killarney.
In the Munster Women’s Open Cup, Skibbereen travel to Annacotty to take on UL Bohemian on Sunday. The West Cork side recorded a narrow 29-26 victory over Dolphin last time out.
Tralee entertain, Ennis-Kilrush, with the Kerry side going into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 45-12 away win over Ballincollig.
Clonakilty go head to head with Bantry Bay at The Vale in the Munster Women’s Open Bowl.