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Weekend Preview

15th February 2024 By The Editor

Clonakilty beat Bandon last week. Photo: Sheila McCarthy/Clonakilty RFC Facebook

Clonakilty beat Bandon last week. Photo: Sheila McCarthy/Clonakilty RFC Facebook

It is another busy weekend with action in both the Men’s and Women’s Energia All Ireland Leagues.

In Division 1A, Cork Constitution, who are two points behind leaders Clontarf in second place, lock horns with Shannon, who are second from bottom at Temple Hill. The Lilywhites recorded a narrow 19-17 victory over Dublin University in the Capital last time out, while Shannon were defeated 28-13 by Lansdowne at Thomond Park. Cork Constitution ran out 43-24 winners when these sides met in Limerick in November.

Sixth-placed Young Munster go head to head with UCD, who are seventh, at Tom Clifford Park. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of 25-10 defeat by champions Terenure College in the Capital, while the Dublin Students recorded 32-22 maximum-point home win over City of Armagh. The Limerick side were narrowly defeated 26-24 in November’s corresponding fixture in Dublin.

Garryowen, who have slipped to fifth in Division 1B following their narrow 28-27 defeat by St Mary’s College in Dublin, welcome seventh-placed Naas to Dooradoyle. Naas were defeated 31-24 by Blackrock College in County Kildare last time out. Naas recorded a narrow 41-38 home win when these sides met in November, resulting in two bonus points for the Sky Blues, as they scored four tries.

Highfield, who have slipped to sixth place following their 27-27 draw with Old Belvedere in Dublin, face a tough assignment, as they welcome runaway leaders St Mary’s College to Woodleigh Park. The Dublin side recorded a narrow 27-28 home win over Garryowen last time out and they also won November’s corresponding fixture 55-29.

UCC, who are ten points clear of the drop zone in eighth place, face a tough assignment as they entertain Old Belvedere at the Mardyke. The Leeside Students claimed all points on offer last time out as they defeated Queen’s University 41-10 in Belfast. Old Belvedere ran out 34-29 winners when these sides met in Dublin, resulting two bonus points for UCC, who scored four tries.

Division 2A leaders Nenagh Ormond, who were narrowly defeated 42-40 by Banbridge in County Down last time out, face a tricky task as they welcome Ballymena, who ran out 34-31 home winners over UL Bohemian, to North Tipperary. Nenagh Ormond won November’s corresponding fixture 23-7 in County Antrim.

Second-placed Cashel make the relatively short trip to Annacotty to take on UL Bohemian, who have slipped to sixth following their narrow 34-31 defeat by Ballymena in County Antrim. The Limerick side returned home with two bonus points, as they scored four tries. Cashel were defeated 21-12 at home by MU Branhall and they ran out 31-7 winners when they met UL Bohemian in the Premier County.

Old Crescent, who have climbed up to fifth following their narrow 23-22 victory over bottom side Malone in Belfast, entertain Banbridge, who have climbed up to fourth, following their narrow 42-40 away win over Nenagh Ormond. Old Crescent claimed all points on offer when these sides met in County Down as they won November’s corresponding fixture, 28-27, resulting in a bonus point for Banbridge.

In Division 2B, Dolphin, who are second from bottom, will have their work cut out, as they welcome Rainey Old Boys to Virgin Media Park. Dolphin were defeated 23-0 by Sligo in the Yeats County, while the Magherafelt side are fifth on 31 points. Rainey Old Boys go into the tie on the back of a 27-6 home win over Belfast Harlequins. The Magherafelt side recorded a comprehensive 62-17 victory when these sides met in November.

Bruff, who are third in Division 2C, face a tricky task as they travel to County Tyrone to take on Clogher Valley at The Cran in Fivemiletown. Bruff ran out 17-10 home winners over Omagh Academicals last time out, while Clogher Valley recorded a 29-12 away win over Bangor. Clogher Valley ran out 36-20 winners when these sides met in County Limerick.

Sixth-placed Midleton travel to North Mayo to take on bottom side Ballina. Midleton were defeated 11-7 by Tullamore in East Cork last time out, while Ballina recorded a 21-13 away win over Clonmel. Midleton ran out 32-13 bonus point winners in November’s corresponding fixture.

Seventh-placed Clonmel travel to County Tyrone, to take on Omagh Academicals at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields. Clonmel were defeated 21-13 by bottom side Ballina in South Tipperary, while Omagh Academicals returned from their 17-10 defeat by Bruff in County Limerick with a losing bonus point. Clonmel claimed all points on offer from November’s corresponding fixture, as they ran out 37-21 home winners.

In the Women’s All Ireland League, runaway leaders UL Bohemian welcome Suttonians to UL Arena. The Limerick side ran out 58-5 away winners over Galwegians last time out, while Suttonians were defeated 22-0 at home by Ballincollig. UL Bohemian won October’s corresponding fixture 28-3, where they returned with maximum points.

Ballincollig, who have climbed up to fifth, following their 22-0 bonus point away win over Suttonians, welcome Cooke to Tanner Park. The Belfast side were defeated 29-5 at home by Railway Union last time out. Ballincollig won November’s corresponding fixture 24-14 in Belfast.

Junior Preview

The Munster Junior League also continues, with one game doubling up as a Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup semi-final.

Action also continues across the Munster Women’s League and the Mark Andrew trophy.

The game of the day in Division 1 of the Munster Junior League is the meeting of leaders Thomond and second placed Mallow in North Cork. A maximum-point win and no points for Mallow, would secure a third League title for Thomond and their first since the year 2000. The Limerick side are unbeaten as they ran out 50-7 home winners over Kanturk last time out. Mallow fell to their first defeat, where they narrowly last 16-13 to Sunday’s Well at Virgin Media Park, but picked up a losing bonus point.

Newcastle West who share fifth place with Kilfeacle, welcome fourth-placed Sunday’s Well to West Limerick. This game also doubles up as the first semi-final of the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup, which Newcastle West are defending and looking to win for the third successive year. The winners of this game will play Thomond, Richmond or Bandon in the Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup decider. The West Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a 63-45 bonus point victory over Clanwilliam in Tipperary Town, while Sunday’s Well were defeated 22-14 by Kanturk at the Duhallow venue.

Clonakilty, who are third, are in West Cork derby action for the second successive weekend. This time they welcome Skibbereen, who are seventh, to The Vale. Clonakilty climbed into the top four following their 15-10 home win over Bandon. Skibbereen claimed maximum points from their 26-21 home win over Thurles, to leave them seven points adrift of the top four.

At the foot of the table, bottom side Charleville, who are still without a win, welcome Kilfeacle to Smith’s Road. Kilfeacle share fourth place with Newcastle West and they claimed all points on offer from their 34-3 victory over Clanwilliam in Tipperary Town. Charleville were defeated 14-6 by Bandon in West Cork.

Thurles, who are sixth, lock horns with Clanwilliam, who are second from bottom in a Premier County derby. Thurles are five points adrift of the top four and they were defeated 26-21 by Skibbereen in West Cork, but claimed a losing bonus point. The Tipperary Town side, who are nine points adrift of Kanturk, were defeated 34-3 at home by near neighbours Kilfeacle.

Ninth-placed Muskerry entertain Bandon, who are eighth at Ellis Park. Both sides go into the tie on the back of narrow defeats by Richmond and Clonakilty respectively, where they both claimed a losing bonus point each.

Richmond go head to head with Kanturk at Garryowen Green, with both sides hovering above the drop zone. Both sides claimed all points on offer from their respective games against Muskerry and Sunday’s Well last time out.

Unbeaten joint leaders in Division 2 St Mary’s travel to Suirisde to take on Waterpark at Ballinakill. St Mary’s, claimed all points on offer as they defeated Abbeyfeale 36-12 at Grove Island last time out. Waterpark who are seventh fell to a heavy 48-14 away defeat by Kinsale.

Crosshaven, who are sharing pole position with St Mary’s following their bonus point 24-8 away win over Cobh Pirates, entertain Ballincollig, who are now second from bottom with Youghal. Ballincollig claimed two bonus points from their narrow 23-22 home defeat by Fermoy, as they scored four tries.

Fermoy, who are six points clear of the drop zone, face a tricky task as they welcome second-placed Kinsale to The Showgrounds. The North Cork side recorded a narrow 23-22 away win against Ballincollig, while Kinsale recorded a comprehensive 48-14 bonus point victory over Waterpark in South Cork.

Third-placed St Senan’s welcome Fethard, who share sixth place with Cobh Pirates, to the Banner County. The Clare side ran out 45-26 maximum-point away winners over Tralee in the Kingdom, while Fethard were defeated 38-27 by Crosshaven in South Tipperary. Fethard claimed a bonus point as they scored four tries.

Fourth-placed Tralee travel to East Cork to take on Cobh Pirates, who are joint sixth with Fethard. The Kerry side lost 45-26 at home to St Senan’s but claimed a bonus point, as they scored four tries. Cobh Pirates were defeated 24-8 at the Paddocks by Crosshaven last time out.

Youghal, who have moved off the foot of the table as they defeated Galbally-Mitchelstown 17-16 at home last time out, lock horns with Old Christians at the East Cork venue. The Rathcooney side were defeated 27-17 at home by Cobh Pirates in their last game.

Galbally-Mitchelstown, who are propping up the table, entertain Abbeyfeale, who are three points clear of the drop zone. Galbally-Mitchelstown claimed a losing bonus point from their basement clash against fellow strugglers Youghal, which they lost 17-16. Abbeyfeale were defeated 36-12 by St Mary’s at Grove Island.

Ennis, who are unbeaten leaders in Division 3, welcome Carrick-on-Suir to the Banner County. The Clare side claimed all points on offer from their 32-20 away win over Killorglin, while the South Tipperary side recorded a 31-23 home win over Ardscoil Old Boys.

Castleisland who are joint second with Ardscoil Old Boys, welcome bottom side Douglas to the Kingdom. The Kerry side ran out 20-10 away winners over Scariff in East Clare, while Douglas were defeated 61-19 by Chorca Dhuibhne at Castletreasure.

Third-placed Scariff, travel to West Waterford to take on Dungarvan. Scariff were defeated 20-10 by Castleisland in East Clare. Dungarvan, who are joint seventh with Killarney, recorded their second win of the campaign as they defeated Chorca Dhuibhne 24-20 in West Waterford.

Fifth-placed Killorglin travel to Suirside, to take on Waterford City, who are sixth. Both sides were defeated by Banner County opposition last time out, as Waterford City were defeated 22-11 by Scariff in their last game in East Clare. Killorglin were defeated 32-20 by Ennis in Mid Kerry.

Chorca Dhuibhne take on Killarney in a Kingdom derby in the West Kerry Gaeltacht. Chorca Dhuibhne, who are eighth, recorded their first win of the campaign as they recorded a comprehensive 61-19 away in over Douglas. The East Kerry side, who share seventh place with Dungarvan, were narrowly defeated 26-24 at home by Ardscoil Old Boys.

In Division 2 of the Munster Women’s League, leaders Midleton take on bottom side Ballincollig at Tanner Park. Midleton will be looking to record their third win over the Mid Cork side as they put up 33 points without reply against  Ballincollig last time out. Midleton also ran out 17-7 winners when these sides met at Tanner Park in November.

Sixth-placed Bantry entertain Mallow, who are fourth, with both sides going into the tie on the back of defeats by Clonakilty and Thurles respectively.

In the Mark Andrews Trophy, leaders Tralee travel to the Carbery Showgrounds, to take on Skibbereen, who are seeking their first win of the campaign. The Kingdom side ran out 10-7 away winners over Shannon-TUS last time out, while Skibbereen were defeated 15-5 by Dolphin at Virgin Media Park.

Ennis-Kilrush are also seeking their first win as they welcome Dolphin to the Banner County. The Clare side were defeated 17-7 by Tralee in the Kingdom and Dolphin were also defeated 35-0 by Tralee in Kerry.

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