2nd November 2023 By Leonard Allen
Please find below a preview of this weekend’s club rugby.
It is a busy weekend as both the Men’s and Women’s All Ireland Leagues resume with a full programme of games.
In Division 2B of the Men’s All Ireland League, Dolphin, who are eighth, face a tough assignment as they go head to head with Corinthians, who are second, at Musgrave Park on Friday evening. The Leesiders were defeated 25-15 by Skerries in North County Dublin last time out, while Corinthians go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 56-7 maximum-point home win over Malahide.
On Saturday, the game of the day in Division 1A is the meeting of third-placed Cork Constitution and unbeaten leaders Lansdowne at Temple Hill. The Lilywhites put up 20 points without reply against champions Terenure College in Dublin last time out. Lansdowne, who have maximum points from their games to date, recorded a 45-19 victory over Ballynahinch on the Main Pitch at the Aviva Stadium.
Fourth-placed Shannon travel to County Down to take on Ballynahinch, who are seventh, at Ballymacarn Park. Shannon’s unbeaten start to the season was ended in their 25-13 defeat by City of Armagh at Thomond Park, while Ballynahinch lost 45-19 to Lansdowne in Dublin.
Young Munster, whose 22-8 away win over Dublin University has moved them off the foot of the table, face a tricky task as they entertain Clontarf at Tom Clifford Park. The Dublin side have climbed up to seventh following their comprehensive 43-19 home win over UCD.
It is derby day on Leeside in Division 1B as UCC lock horns with Highfield at the Mardyke. Highfield are second following their maximum 36-19 home win over bottom side Buccaneers. The Students are hovering above the drop zone following their 31-25 defeat by St Mary’s College in Dublin, from which they claimed a losing bonus point.
Garryowen, who have slipped into the drop zone following their 41-32 defeat by Queen’s University, from which they returned with a bonus point, as they scored four tries, will have their work cut out, as they welcome third-placed Old Wesley to Dooradoyle. The Dublin side ran out 41-32 winners over Naas at Eneriga Park last time out.
Division 2A leaders Nenagh Ormond make the short trip to Limerick to take on Old Crescent, who are ninth at Takumi Park. The North Tipperary side are unbeaten and they claimed maximum points from their 46-6 home win against Navan. Old Crescent were defeated 34-10 by Ballymena at the County Antrim venue.
Cashel have climbed up to second following their maximum-point 32-20 away win over Greystones. They welcome sixth-placed Ballymena, who ran out 34-10 home winners over Old Crescent, to the Premier County.
Third-placed UL Bohemian, following their 31-19 away win over Malone in Belfast, entertain Greystones, who are fourth, following their 32-10 home defeat by Cashel.
In Division 2C, Clonmel and Midleton are both in County Tyrone.
Clonmel, who are seventh, following their 21-10 home defeat by Galwegians, travel to the Cran in Fivemiletown, to take on unbeaten leaders Clogher Valley, who have maximum points from their three games to date. Clogher Valley recorded a 26-15 away win over Midleton last time out.
Midleton travel to the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields to take on Omagh Academicals, with both sides going into the tie on the back of defeats by Tullamore and Clogher Valley respectively.
Third-placed Bruff are away to second-placed Galwegians, with both sides putting their unbeaten records on the line. The Galway side go into the tie on the back of a 21-10 away win over Clonmel, while Bruff recorded a 29-15 home win over Bangor.
In the Women’s AIL, Ballincollig will have their work cut out as they welcome unbeaten leaders UL Bohemian to Tanner Park. The Limerick side have maximum points from their games to date as they defeated Blackrock College 29-10 at Annacotty last time out. Ballincollig go into the tie on the back of a 46-10 defeat by Railway Union in Dublin.
Locally, there is a full series of games across all three divisions of the Munster Junior League and this weekend also sees the opening series of games in the Women’s Munster League.
The game of the day in Division 1 of the Munster Junior League is the meeting of Clanwilliam and Kilfeacle in Tipperary Town. Kilfeacle have maximum points from their two games to date, while Clanwilliam, who have a game in hand, defeated Muskerry 20-13 on the opening day of the campaign.
Mallow, who are second, following their 21-12 away victory over Thurles, entertain Clonakilty, who recorded a comprehensive 52-17 win over Kanturk at The Vale.
Thomond, who claimed maximum points from their only game to date, where they defeated Clonakilty 57-3, entertain Muskerry, who have one losing bonus point to their credit.
Sunday’s Well, who ran out 27-5 away winners over Muskerry last time out, lock horns with Bandon at Musgrave Park. Bandon have a game in hand, with their only points coming from an 18-18 draw with Skibbereen at the Carbery Showgrounds.
Defending champions Richmond, who have a game in hand, are at home to Skibbereen, with both sides seeking their first win of the campaign.
Newcastle West, who also have a game in hand, welcome Thurles, who were defeated 21-12 by Mallow in the Premier County, to West Limerick.
Kanturk and Charleville both go in search of their first points at the Duhallow venue following early heavy defeats.
In Division 2, Kinsale welcome Old Christians to South Cork for their top of the table clash. Kinsale claimed maximum points from their 47-15 home win over Youghal, while Old Christians have maximum points from their two games to date.
Ballincollig will have their work cut out, as they entertain Tralee, who share top spot with Crosshaven and Old Christians. The Kingdom side recorded a narrow 22-20 home win over Fethard last time out.
Crosshaven travel to the Showgrounds to take on Fermoy, following their 59-0 home win over Waterpark. Fermoy claimed their first points of the season from their 15-6 home win over Galbally-Mitchelstown.
St Mary’s are looking to keep their unbeaten run intact, following their 10-0 away win over Cobh Pirates, as they welcome Youghal to Grove Island. The East Cork side go into the tie on the back of a heavy 47-15 home defeat by Kinsale.
Galbally-Mitchelstown go in search of their first points as they entertain Fethard, who have a solitary losing bonus point to their credit.
Waterpark, following their heavy 59-0 away defeat by Crosshaven, welcome St Senan’s who defeated Abbeyfeale, 27-10 in the Banner County, to Suirside.
Abbeyfeale go in search of their first points as they take on Cobh Pirates at the West Limerick venue. The East Cork side’s only bonus point to date was claimed from their opening day 21-17 away defeat by Kinsale.
On Saturday evening, Division 3 leaders Castleisland, who have maximum points from their games to date, welcome Ardscoil Old Boys to the Kingdom. The Kerry side recorded a narrow 22-20 bonus point away win over Carrick-on-Suir, while Ardscoil Old Boys ran out 21-13 home winners over Chorca Dhuibhne.
On Sunday, second-placed Dungarvan will be looking to bounce back from their defeat by Killorglin in Kerry, as they entertain Carrick-on-Suir, who claimed a losing bonus point against Castleisland.
Scariff, who recorded a 29-22 bonus point victory over Killarney in the Kingdom, welcome Killorglin, who recorded a narrow 25-22 home win over Dungarvan, to East Clare.
Chorca Dhuibhne go in search of their first points as they welcome Ennis to the West Kerry Gaeltacht and Douglas take on Killarney at Castletreasure.
In Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League, Skibbereen welcome Dolphin to the Carbery Showgrounds and Tralee entertain Ennis-Kilrush in the Kingdom.
There is also a Limerick derby at Annacotty as UL Bohemian lock horns with Shannon-TUS.
In Division 2, Ballincollig are at home to Clonakilty and Bantry Bay welcome Bruff to West Cork.
Midleton entertain Thurles at Towns Park.