25th January 2024 By Leonard Allen
The Men’s All Ireland League continues across another busy weekend while UL Bohemian take on Railway Union in the Women’s AIL Cup final.
UL Bohs travel to Coolmine RFC on Saturday to take on Railway Union in the Women’s AIL Cup final in what is a repeat of last season’s title decider.
The game of the day in Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland league is the top of the table clash between second-placed Cork Constitution and leaders Clontarf at Temple Hill. The Leesiders, who are four points behind Clontarf, returned from their 34-24 away win over UCD with maximum points. Clontarf claimed a losing bonus point last time out from their first defeat of the campaign, where they lost 29-26 against Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium.
The Dublin side ran out 30-26 winners when these sides met at Castle Avenue in early December.
Sixth-placed Young Munster head north to take on City of Armagh at the Palace Grounds. Young Munster recorded a narrow 26-25 home win over Ballynahinch last time out, where they claimed all points on offer. The Ulster side are four points adrift of safety following their 37-13 home defeat by champions Terenure College. Young Munster ran out 32-17 winners when these sides met in Limerick.
Shannon, who are hovering above the drop zone, will have their work cut out, as they entertain defending champions Terenure College, who are fourth. The Limerick side were defeated 38-9 by Dublin University at College Park, which was the Dublin Students’ first win of the campaign. Terenure College go into the tie on the back of a maximum point 37-13 away win over City of Armagh and they recorded a comprehensive 57-7 home win over Shannon, when these sides met at Lakelands Park.
Garryowen, who have climbed up to fourth in Division 1B following their 33-17 home win over Buccaneers, travel to the Capital to take on Blackrock College, who have climbed up to third, at Stradbrook. Blackrock College recorded a narrow 25-24 home win over leaders St Mary’s College last time out. The Sky Blues claimed all points on offer from their 32-26 home win when these sides met at Dooradoyle, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Dublin side.
Highfield, who have slipped to fifth and are two points adrift of the promotion play-off places, entertain Queen’s University, who are second from bottom, at Woodleigh Park. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Old Wesley and Old Belvedere respectively, with the Belfast Students claiming a losing bonus point. Highfield recorded a 34-26 bonus point victory when these sides met in Belfast.
UCC, who are hovering above the drop zone, welcome seventh-placed Old Wesley, to Mardyke. The Leeside Students go into the tie on the back of a 36-24 away defeat by Naas, while the Dublin side recorded a bonus point 38-17 home win over Highfield. UCC narrowly lost December’s corresponding fixture in Dublin, where they returned with a losing bonus point.
Division 2A leaders Nenagh Ormond entertain Malone, who are second from bottom, in North Tipperary. Nenagh Ormond got back to winning ways with as narrow 15-12 away win over Greystones, while the Belfast side are one point adrift of safety following their 17-10 home win over Banbridge. Nenagh Ormond ran out 24-10 winners, when these sides met at Gibson Park.
Second placed Cashel travel to the Royal County, to take on Navan, who are propping up the table. Cashel recorded a 19-13 away win over Old Crescent last time out, while the County Meath side were defeated 26-17 by UL Bohemian at Annacotty. Cashel ran out 32-18 maximum point winners when these sides met in the Premier County.
UL Bohemian, who are fourth, travel to County Kildare to take on third-placed MU Barnhall at Parsonstown. UL Bohemian clamed all points on offer from their 26-17 home win over Navan, while MU Barnhall finished with their 22-19 home defeat by Ballymena with a losing bonus point. These sides played out a 29-29 draw at Annacotty in December.
Fifth-placed Old Crescent, who claimed a losing bonus point from their 19-13 away defeat by Cashel, are at home to eighth-placed Greystones, who also claimed a losing bonus point from their 15-12 home defeat by Nenagh Ormond. Greystones ran out 27-21 winners when these sides met in County Wicklow, resulting in a losing bonus point for Old Crescent.
Dolphin who are propping up Division 2B following their heavy 86-7 defeat by Instonians in Belfast, will have their work cut out as they lock horns with second-placed Wanderers at Virgin Media Park. The Dublin side put up 40 points without reply against Skerries at Holmpatrick last time out, and they defeated Dolphin 47-7, when these sides met at Merrion Road.
Bruff, who are fourth in Division 2C, travel to North Mayo to take on bottom side Ballina. The County Limerick side were held to a 20-20 draw by Tullamore at Kilballyowen Park last time out, while Ballina were defeated 31-14 by Bangor in their basement clash in County Down. Bruff ran out 26-10 home winners when they met Ballina in the corresponding fixture.
Clonmel travel to the Faithful County for their mid-table clash with Tullamore at Spollanstown. The County Offaly side were held to a 20-20 draw by Bruff at Kilballyowen Park last time out, while Clonmel recorded a narrow 17-14 home win over Midleton. Tullamore recorded a narrow 29-27 victory when these sides met in South Tipperary, resulting in a losing bonus point for Clonmel.
Midleton, who have slipped to seventh following their narrow 17-14 away defeat by Clonmel, where they claimed a losing bonus point, will have their work cut out as they entertain third-placed Enniscorthy. The County Wexford side were defeated 32-19 by Clogher Valley in Fivemiletown last time out and they defeated Midleton 31-21, when these sides met at Alcast Park.
The second round of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup dominates the local action this weekend.
There is also an assortment of games across all three divisions of the Munster Junior League, Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl together with the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup quarter finals.
Action also continues across Division 2 of the Munster Women’s League and the Mark Andrews Trophy.
In the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, there are three ties down for decision on Saturday evening.
Old Crescent entertain Waterpark, who last won the trophy in 1974, at Takumi Park and 1944 winners Dolphin host Crosshaven at Virgin Media Park.
Kinsale and Youghal go head to head at the South Cork venue.
On Sunday, Ardscoil Old Boys ravel to St Mary’s, whose only triumph was in 1968, in a Limerick derby at Grove Island.
Cobh Pirates, who won the trophy in 2006 welcome Castleisland, who shared the trophy with Waterpark Old Boys in 1941, to the Paddocks and Bruff are at home to Killarney.
Midleton, whose only triumphs were in 1997 and 1998, entertain 1964 and 1966 winners Abbeyfeale.
Nenagh Ormond, who last won the trophy in 2004, welcome 2009 and 2010 winners UL Bohemian to North Tipperary.
Old Christians, whose only triumph was in 1965, go head to head with 1934 winners Tralee at Rathcooney. This game also doubles up as a Munster Junior League Division 2 tie. Old Christians are tied in sixth place with Fethard on 20 points, while the Kingdom side are eight points adrift of second-placed Kinsale on 26 points in fifth.
In other ties, Scariff host Fethard in East Clare and St Senan’s welcome Fermoy to the Banner County.
There is one Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl tie down for decision as Clonmel host 2013 winners Waterford City at the South Tipperary venue. The winners will be rewarded with home advantage against Douglas in the semi-finals.
In the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup quarter finals, Sunday’s Well lock horns with Kilfeacle on the Back Pitch at Virgin Media Park. The winners will be away to Newcastle West or Thurles, who go head to head in West Limerick on Sunday.
Bandon entertain Muskerry at Old Chapel and the winners will be rewarded with home advantage against Richmond or Thomond.
There are a handful of games in the Munster Junior League.
Mallow, who are unbeaten in second place in Division 1, entertain Clanwilliam, who are second from bottom in North Cork. A bonus point victory would bring Mallow to within two points of leaders Thomond, who are also unbeaten. Clanwilliam’s only victory came on the opening day of the campaign, when they defeated Muskerry 20-13 in Tipperary Town.
Bottom side Charleville, who are still without a win, but have three losing bonus points to their credit, go head to head with defending champions Richmond, who are three points clear of the relegation places.
In Division 3, Carrick-on-Suir, who have won three of their games to date, play Chorca Dhuibhne at Castletreasure in Douglas, who are still without a win but have three bonus points to their credit.
In Division 2 of the Munster Women’s League, unbeaten leaders Bruff travel to the Premier County, to take on fourth-placed Thurles. The Tipperary side recorded a narrow 19-17 away win over Clonakilty in early December, while Bruff put up 28 points without reply against Midleton in their last game at Kilballyowen Park.
Third-placed Mallow lock horns with Midleton, who are second in North Cork. Mallow go into the tie on the back of a 7-3 away win over Clonakilty, while Midleton were defeated 28-0 by Bruff at the County Limerick venue.
Bantry Bay entertain West Cork neighbours Clonakilty. Bantry Bay won their last game against Ballincollig 28-0 at Tanner Park, while Clonakilty were narrowly defeated 7-3 by Mallow at The Vale.
In the Mark Andrews Trophy, Tralee who defeated Dolphin 35-0 in the Kingdom in the only game to date, welcome Ennis-Kilrush to O’Dowd Park.
Skibbereen entertain Shannon-TUS at the Carbery Showgrounds.