8th November 2023 By Leonard Allen
Please find below a preview of this weekend’s domestic rugby.
It is another busy weekend with action across all divisions of the Men’s and Women’s All Ireland Leagues.
On Saturday in Division 1 of the Men’s All Ireland League, Shannon welcome Cork Constitution to Thomond Park. The Limerick side lost 31-5 against Ballynahinch in County Down last time out, while the Lilywhites ended Lansdowne’s unbeaten run, running out 23-17 winners at Temple Hill.
Ninth-placed Young Munster travel to the capital, to take on UCD, who have slipped to eighth, in their basement clash at Belfield. Young Munster were defeated 44-39 by Clontarf at Tom Clifford Park last time out, but they finished with two bonus points, as they scored four tries. The Dublin Students were defeated 45-28 at home by defending champions Terenure College.
The game of the day in Division 1B is the top of the table clash between St Mary’s College and Highfield at Templeville Road. Highfield, who are second, will have their work cut out as leaders St Mary’s College have maximum points from their games to date. Highfield will be looking to bounce back from their Leeside derby defeat by UCC last time out, where they claimed a losing bonus point, going down 23-19 at the Mardyke.
UCC face a tricky task, following their derby win over Highfield, which moves them up to seventh place, as they travel to Dublin to take on Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park. Old Belvedere recorded a comprehensive 45-19 away win over Buccaneers in Athlone, while the Leeside Students go into the tie on the back of a narrow 23-19 home victory over Highfield.
Garryowen travel to County Kildare for their basement clash with Naas. The Sky Blues’ 18-12 home win over Old Wesley has seen them move out of the drop zone, while the County Kildare side’s 25-14 defeat by St Mary’s College, has seen them slip to ninth.
In Division 2A, unbeaten leaders Nenagh Ormond travel to County Antrim to take on Ballymena, who are hovering above the drop zone at Eaton Park. The North Tipperary side ran out 29-6 away winners over Old Crescent at Takumi Park, while Ballymena claimed a losing bonus point from their 19-13 defeat by Cashel in the Premier County.
Second-placed Cashel welcome UL Bohemian, who are third to the Spafield, with both sides going into the tie on the back of home wins over Ballymena and Greystones respectively.
Old Crescent, who are second from bottom following their 29-6 home defeat by Nenagh Ormond, travel to County Down, take on Banbridge, who are fifth, following their 22-14 away win over Navan.
Dolphin, who are propping up Division 2B are away to Rainey Old Boys, who are ninth. Dolphin were defeated 45-17 by Corinthians at Musgrave Park last time out. The Magherafelt side are still seeking their first win following their 28-22 defeat by Malahide at the Belvedere College Grounds, but they have three try bonus points to their credit.
In Division 2C, third-placed Bruff entertain leaders Clogher Valley, who have maximum points from their games to date and both sides are unbeaten. The County Limerick side returned from their 26-26 draw with Galwegians with three points last time out, as they scored four tries. Clogher Valley go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 45-16 home win over Clonmel.
Seventh-placed Midleton welcome Ballina, who are ninth, to East Cork. Midleton returned from their narrow 22-21 defeat by Omagh Academicals in County Tyrone with a losing bonus, point. The North Mayo side go into the tie on the back of a 26-18 maximum-point home win over Tullamore.
Clonmel, who are hovering above the drop zone following their heavy 45-16 away defeat to Clogher Valley, go head to head with Omagh Academicals at the South Tipperary venue.
In the Women’s All Ireland League, fifth-placed Ballincollig travel to Dublin to take on Blackrock College, who are fourth. Ballincollig go into the tie on the back of a heavy 69-5 home defeat by UL Bohemian, while Blackrock College recorded a 33-12 away win over Suttonians.
There is a full programme of games in the Munster Junior League and the Munster Women’s League, as well as action in two knockout competitions.
On Saturday evening, Crosshaven go head to head with Galbally-Mitchelstown at Myrtleville Cross in Division 2 of the Munster Junior League. This also doubles up as a Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield opener, where Galbally-Mitchelstown are beginning their defence of the trophy.
In the Junior League, Crosshaven, who are joint leaders with Tralee on 15 points, recorded their third maximum-point win of the campaign as they defeated Fermoy 48-17 at the Showgrounds last time out. Galbally-Mitchelstown are propping up the table with Youghal on zero points, following their 29-10 home defeat by Fethard. The winners will be away to Kinsale or Cobh Pirates in the quarter finals of the Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield.
Unbeaten Ennis, who have a game in hand, are at home to unbeaten leaders Castleisland in Division 3. The Clare side claimed all points on offer from their visit to the West Kerry Gaeltacht, where they ran out 32-29 winners over Chorca Dhuibhne. Castleisland recorded a narrow 23-22 home win over Ardscoil Old Boys last time out.
On Sunday in Division 1, unbeaten leaders Sunday’s Well travel to West Tipperary, to take on third-placed Kilfeacle, who have a game in hand. The Leesiders claimed all points on offer from their 27-15 victory over Bandon, while Kilfeacle also claimed maximum points when they defeated Skibbereen 22-7 in West Tipperary.
Second-placed Mallow, who are also unbeaten, make the short trip to Smith’s Road, to take on Charleville in a North Cork derby. Mallow recorded a 16-7 home win over Clonakilty last time out, while Charleville claimed a losing bonus point from their 17-10 defeat by Kanturk at the Duhallow venue.
Bandon face a tricky task as they entertain Thomond at Old Chapel and both sides have a game in hand. The Limerick side put up 43 points without reply against Muskerry last time out, while Bandon were defeated 27-15 by Sunday’s Well at Musgrave Park. Bandon also claimed their only points to date from their 18-18 draw with Skibbereen at the Carbery Showgrounds on the opening weekend of the campaign.
Clonakilty, who were defeated 16-7 by Mallow in North Cork, welcome Newcastle West to the Vale. The West Limerick side have a game in hand and they also have two losing bonus points to their credit to date, following their 17-14 home defeat by Thurles.
Muskerry are at home to Kanturk, who recorded their first win against Charleville last time out, following two heavy defeats. The Mid Cork side go into the tie on the back of a 43-0 away defeat by Thomond and are propping up the table on a solitary losing bonus point with Richmond and Charleville.
Skibbereen who defeated Richmond 17-12 in Limerick to record their first win of the campaign, welcome Clanwilliam to West Cork. The Tipperary Town side have won their only game to date 20-13 at home against Muskerry.
The game of the day in Division 2 is the meeting of joint-leaders Tralee and Kinsale in the Kingdom. The Kerry side have claimed all points on offer from their games to date as they ran out 32-25 away winners over Ballincollig last time out. Kinsale ended Old Christians’ unbeaten start to the season as they defeated the Rathcooney side 27-9 in South Cork.
Old Christians, who are third, will be looking to make the most of home advantage as they lock horns with third-placed St Mary’s at Rathcooney. Old Christians were defeated 27-9 away by Kinsale, following two bonus points wins, while St Mary’s put up 50 points without reply against Youghal at Grove Island.
Cobh Pirates, who are hovering above the drop zone on a single losing bonus point, entertain fifth-placed Waterpark, who defeated St Senan’s on Suirside last time out. The Pirates go in the tie on the back of a 36-20 defeat by Abbeyfeale in West Limerick.
Fethard entertain Ballincollig at the South Tipperary venue, with both sides currently in mid-table. Fethard claimed all points on offer from their 29-10 away win over Galbally-Mitchelstown, while the Mid Cork side claimed two bonus points from their 32-25 home defeat by Tralee, where they scored four tries.
St Senan’s, who claimed a losing bonus point from their 18-14 defeat by Waterpark on Suirside, entertain Fermoy, who go into the tie on the back of a heavy 48-17 home defeat by Crosshaven.
Youghal, who were defeated 50-0 by St Mary’s at Grove Island last time out, are propping up the table on zero points with Galbally-Mitchelstown. They entertain Abbeyfeale, who claimed their first points from their maximum-point 36-20 victory over Cobh Pirates in West Limerick.
In Division 3, Ardscoil Old Boys, who were narrowly defeated 23-22 by Castleisland in the Kingdom, host Dungarvan. Following a promising start to the campaign, when they defeated Killarney 58-7 in Youghal, the West Waterford side were defeated 37-21 at home by Carrick-on-Suir.
Carrick-on-Suir, who are joint sixth with Killorglin, following their maximum point 37-21 away win over Dungarvan, welcome second-placed Scariff to Tybroughney. The East Clare side go into the tie on the back of a narrow 16-11 home win over Killorglin.
Killorglin, following their 16-11 defeat by Scariff in East Clare, from which they returned with a losing bonus point, welcome Douglas to the Kingdom. The Cork side go into the tie on the back of a 29-10 home defeat by Killarney.
Waterford City go in search of their first points as they go head to head with Chorca Dhuibhne on Suirside. Waterford City lost 25-13 to Ennis in their only game to date, while the West Kerry Gaeltacht side have two losing bonus points to their credit.
There is one Cork Charity Cup game on Sunday as UCC and Clonmel go head to head at the Mardyke. UCC will be looking to finish their campaign on a winning note, while the South Tipperary side are also due to play Cork Constitution.
The game of the day in Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League is the top of the table clash between joint leaders Skibbereen and UL Bohemian at the Carbery Showgrounds. Both sides claimed maximum point from their respective openers against Dolphin and Shannon-TUS.
Dolphin, following their opening day defeat by Skibbereen where they lost 46-19, face a tricky task as they entertain Tralee, who recorded a narrow 11-10 home win over Ennis-Kilrush.
Ennis-Kilrush entertain Shannon-TUS, with both sides on a losing bonus point each, going in search of their first win of the campaign.
Division 2 leaders Bruff, who claimed maximum points from their 32-17 opening day victory over Bantry Bay, are at home to Thurles, who returned home from East Cork with a losing bonus point against Midleton.
Clonakilty and Bantry Bay, who are both on zero points, go head to head at the Vale and Mallow begin their campaign against Midleton at Towns Park.