7th December 2023 By Leonard Allen
It is another action packed weekend on the All Ireland League scene with a full round of games in both the mens and women’s competitions.
In Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League, second-placed Cork Constitution will be looking to bounce back from their narrow 30-26 defeat by Clontarf in Dublin, as they welcome UCD, who are three points adrift of the relegation zone in seventh.
The Lilywhites lost to two late penalties but returned to Leeside with two bonus points, as they scored four tries. The Dublin Students were defeated 31-17 by Ballynahinch at Belfield last time out.
Young Munster, who have climbed up to sixth, following their 32-17 bonus point home win over City of Armagh, face a tricky task as they travel to County Down to take on Ballynahinch. The Ulster side go into the tie on the back of a 31-17 away win over UCD.
Shannon lock horns with Dublin University in their basement clash at Thomond Park. The Limerick side were heavily defeated 57-8 by defending champions Terenure College at Lakelands Park. The Dublin Students, who are still without a win, but have two losing bonus points to their credit, lost 17-3 at home to Lansdowne.
Highfield, who are fourth in Division 1B, go head to head with Old Wesley, who are hovering above the drop zone, at Woodleigh Park. The Leesiders returned from Belfast with maximum points, following their 34-26 victory over Queen’s University. The Dublin side have climbed out of the drop zone following a narrow 27-26 home win over UCC.
UCC, who have slipped to fifth following their narrow 27-26 defeat by Old Wesley in Dublin, welcome Naas, who are sixth, to the Mardyke. The County Kildare side claimed all points on offer from their 35-29 home win over Buccaneers last time out.
Garryowen, who have climbed up to seventh place, following their 32-26 bonus point home win over Blackrock College, travel to Athlone, to take on Buccaneers, who are propping up the table. Buccaneers were defeated 35-29 by Naas in County Kildare, but claimed two bonus points as they scored four tries.
Unbeaten leaders in Division 2A Nenagh Ormond, welcome Greystones, who are sixth, to North Tipperary. Nenagh Ormond go into the tie on the back of a 24-10 away win over Malone in Belfast, while the County Wicklow side ran out 27-21 home winners over Old Crescent.
Old Crescent, who have slipped to seventh, face a tricky task as they welcome second-placed Cashel to Takumi Park. The Premier County side claimed all points on offer from their 32-18 home win over Navan, while Old Crescent returned from their 27-21 defeat by Greystones in County Wicklow with a losing bonus point.
Fourth-placed UL Bohemian travel to the Royal County, to take on Navan, who are hovering above the drop zone. UL Bohemian claimed three points as they scored four tries in their 29-29 draw with MU Barnhall at Annacotty, while the County Meath side were defeated 32-18 by Cashel at the Tipperary venue.
Dolphin, who are propping up Division 2B, will have their work cut out as they welcome runaway leaders Instonians, who have seven maximum-point wins from seven to their credit. The Leesiders go into the tie on the back of a 47-7 defeat by Wanderers at Merrion Road, while Instonians recorded a comprehensive 59-10 home win over Malahide.
Bruff, who are fourth in Division 2C, travel to County Offaly to take on Tullamore at Spollanstown. Bruff ran out 26-10 bonus point winners over Ballina at Kilballyowen Park last time out, while the Faithful County side defeated Clonmel 29-27 with a late penalty in South Tipperary.
Midleton, who have slipped to seventh following their 31-21 away defeat by Enniscorthy, welcome Clonmel to Towns Park. The South Tipperary side, who are fifth, were narrowly defeated 29-27 by a late Tullamore penalty in South Tipperary, also claimed two bonus points, as they scored four tries.
In the Women’s All Ireland League, runaway leaders UL Bohemian, who defeated Old Belvedere 20-15 in Dublin, entertain Wicklow at Annacotty. The Garden County side go into the tie on the back of a heavy 45-12 defeat by Suttonians.
Locally, there is action in Divisions 1 and 2 of the Munster Junior League. There is also action in the Martin O’Sullivan Cup and the Munster Women’s League.
In Division 1 of the Munster Junior League, leaders Mallow entertain Kilfeacle in North Cork. Mallow go into the tie on the back of a narrow 16-10 away win over Bandon, while Kilfeacle claimed all points on offer as they defeated Kanturk 24-5 in West Tipperary.
Thomond, who are level on points with Mallow, welcome Clanwilliam, who have two games in hand, to Liam Fitzgerald Park. The Limerick side returned from West Cork with maximum points following their narrow 33-31 victory over Skibbereen in a 10 try thriller. Clanwilliam go into tie on the back of a 28-12 home defeat by Sunday’s Well.
Defending champions Richmond, who are one point clear of the drop zone with a game in hand, entertain Sunday’s Well at Garryowen Green. Richmond were defeated 18-7 by Clonakilty in West Cork, while Sunday’s Well claimed all points on offer from their 28-12 victory over Clanwilliam in Tipperary Town.
Thurles face a tricky task as they welcome Muskerry to the Premier County. Thurles recorded a narrow 17-14 away win over Charleville last time out, while Muskerry, ran out 46-25 home winners over Newcastle West at the Mid Cork venue.
There are two Rebel County derbies.
Clonakilty welcome Charleville, who are still seeking their first win, to the Vale. The West Cork side recorded an 18-7 home win over Richmond last time out, while Charleville claimed their third losing bonus point from their narrow 17-14 home defeat by Thurles.
Kanturk go head to head with Skibbereen at the Duhallow venue. Kanturk are one point clear of the drop zone following their 24-5 defeat by Kilfeacle in West Tipperary. The West Cork side were narrowly defeated by Thomond at the Carbery Showgrounds, but finished with two bonus points as they scored five tries.
Newcastle West and Bandon, who both have a game in hand each, lock horns at the West Limerick venue. Newcastle West go into the tie on the back of a heavy 46-25 defeat by Muskerry in Mid Cork, while Bandon claimed a losing bonus point from their 16-10 home defeat by Mallow.
Kinsale, who are unbeaten leaders in Division 2, travel to County Limerick to take on bottom side Galbally-Mitchelstown. The South Cork side go into the tie on the back of a comprehensive 47-20 away win over Ballincollig, where they claimed maximum points.Galbally-Mitchelstown returned from their 31-27 defeat by St Senan’s in the Banner County with a losing bonus point.
Second-placed St Mary’s who are also unbeaten, welcome Ballincollig, who are two points clear of the drop zone, to Grove Island. The Limeirck side recorded a bonus point 39-6 over Fethard in South Tipperary, while Ballincollig were defeated 47-20 by Kinsale at Tanner Park.
Crosshaven, who have a game in hand entertain Youghal who are second from bottom. The South Cork side will be looking to get back to winning ways following their narrow 30-29 home defeat by St Senan’s. Crosshaven finished this game with two bonus points, as they scored four tries. Youghal claimed a losing bonus pint from their 30-24 home defeat by Fermoy.
St Senan’s who are fifth, welcome Cobh Pirates, who have a game in hand, to the Banner County. St Senan’s claimed all points on offer from their 31-27 home win over Galbally-Mitchelstown, while the Pirates defeated Fermoy 25-20 at the Showgrounds.
Abbeyfeale, who were narrowly defeated by Tralee, but returned to West Limerick with a losing bonus point, are at home to Fethard, who were defeated 39-7 by St Mary’s in South Tipperary.
Fermoy face a tricky task as they entertain Old Christians. The North Cork side go into the tie on the back of a 30-24 away win over Youghal while the Rathcooney side put up 47 points without reply against Waterpark, to record their third maximum point victory.
Waterpark, who are seventh in the League, welcome fourth-placed Tralee to Suirside on Saturday evening. Waterpark go into the tie on the back of a heavy 47-0 away defeat by Old Christians, while Tralee recorded a narrow 10-8 home win over Abbeyfeale.
In the Martin O’Sullivan Cup, Scariff, go head to head with Killorglin in East Clare. The winners will be away to Killarney in the quarter finals.
Chorca Dhuibhne welcome Ennis to the West Kerry Gaeltacht and the winners will be away to Killarney, Killorglin or Scariff in the semi-finals.
Ardscoil Old Boys entertain Castleisland at 4GUL. The winners will have home advantage in the semi-fianls with the winners of the Waterford City and Carrick-on-Suir, which takes place at Kilbarry.
The Munster Women’s League continues as bottom side Dolphin go in search of their first points against leaders UL Bohemian at Musgrave Park. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a 34-20 home win over Tralee, while Dolphin were heavily 62-19 defeated by Ennis-Kilrush at Musgrave Park.
Second-placed Tralee entertain Shannon-TUS, who are third. Tralee were defeated 34-20 by UL Bohemian at Annacotty, while Shannon-TUS recorded a comprehensive 60-5 away win over Skibbereen.
Ennis-Kilrush and Skibbereen go head to head in the Banner County. The Clare side recorded a comprehensive 62-19 victory over Dolphin at Musgrave Park, while the West Cork side go into the tie on the back of a 60-5 home defeat by Shannon-TUS.
In Division 2, unbeaten leaders Midleton entertain Clonakilty, who are still seeking their first win. Midleton recorded a bonus point 26-5 home win over Bantry Bay, while the West Cork side claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 19-17 home defeat by Thurles.
Second-placed Bruff are also unbeaten and they are away to Mallow, who are fourth. Bruff put up 20 points without reply against Clonakilty at Kilballyowen Park in their last game, while Mallow go into the tie on the back of a 47-19 bonus point win over Ballincollig.
Sixth-placed Ballincollig entertain Bantry Bay, who are fifth, with both sides going into the tie on the back of defeats by Mallow and Midleton respectively.