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Weekend Preview

7th March 2024 By Leonard Allen

Weekend Preview

Cork Constitution J1 captain Gordon Good and Highfield J1 captain Con Butler ahead of the Cork Charity Cup final between Highfield and Cork Constitution on Friday 8th March at Woodleigh Park (7.30pm).

There is one game in Division 2A of the Energia Men’s All Ireland League and a full programme of games in the Energia Women’s All Ireland League.

Locally there is a full programme of games in the Munster Junior League, with some games doubling up as games in knock-out competitions.

The Cork Charity Cup final is also down for decision and the Munster Women’s League continues.

On Friday evening, the second teams of Highfield and Cork Constitution go head to head in the Cork Charity Cup decider at Woodleigh Park. The Temple Hill side have won the trophy every year since the 2013/14 season, while Highfield are seeking their third triumph and their first since the 1974/75 season.

On Saturday, Division 2A leaders Nenagh Ormond welcome Ballymena to North Tipperary for their re-scheduled game in the Men’s All Ireland League. The North Tipperary side ran out 24-3 bonus point home winners over Old Crescent last time out. Ballymena, who are seventh, ran out 23-10 home winners over Cashel. Nenagh Ormond were 23-7 winners when they met Ballymena in County Antrim in November.

In the Women’s All Ireland League, runaway leaders UL Bohemian, travel to the capital to take on fourth-placed Blackrock College at Stradbrook. The Limerick side recorded a 28-7 victory over Cooke in Belfast last time out, where they claimed all points on offer. The Dublin side returned from Galway with a losing bonus point from their 14-10 defeat by Galwegians. The Limerick side ran out 29-10 winners when they met Blackrock College at Annacotty.

Ballincollig, who were defeated 32-24 by Wicklow in the Garden County last time out, but scored four tries to claim a bonus point, will have their work cut out as they entertain second-placed Railway Union at Tanner Park. Railway Union were comprehensive 83-7 winners over Galwegians in their last game and they also defeated Ballincollig 46-10, when they met in Dublin in October.

There are two Munster Junior League games on Saturday.

In Division 1, fourth-placed Sunday’s Well travel to The Vale, to take on Clonakilty, who are seventh. The Virgin Media Park side are looking to keep their aspirations of a top-four finish intact following their comprehensive 48-10 home win over Thurles, where they claimed all point on offer. Clonakilty will need a bonus point win to keep their slim hopes of a top-four finish alive, following their narrow 17-15 defeat by Clanwilliam in Tipperary Town.

Chorca Dhuibhne welcome Scariff to the West Kerry Gaeltacht in Division 3, with both sides going in to the tie on the back of defeats by Killorglin and Dungarvan respectively.

On Sunday, champions Thomond travel to the Premier County to take on Thurles. The Premier County side, who have a game in hand, were defeated 48-10 by Sunday’s Well on Leeside last time out. Thomond will be looking to complete their campaign on a winning note, following their 33-19 victory over Newcastle West, where they recorded a bonus point win, ahead of their All Ireland Round-Robin semi-final meeting with the Leinster champions.

Second-placed Mallow go head to head with last years champions Richmond, who are eighth. Mallow ran out 24-10 away winners over Kanturk in their North Cork derby, while Richmond were defeated 22-17 by Bandon at Crescent Comprehensive. Richmond claimed a losing bonus point.

Kilfeacle, who are third, travel to West Cork to take on Bandon at Old Chapel. The West Tipperary side recorded a comprehensive 43-7 home win over Muskerry last time out, while Bandon ran out 22-17 winners over Richmond in Limerick.

Fifth-placed Skibbereen are away to Muskerry. The West Cork side will be looking to build on their 34-24 bonus point home win over Charleville, as they aim to finish in the top-four. Muskerry will be looking to make the most of home advantage in a bid to bounce back from their heavy 43-7 away defeat by Kilfeacle. Muskerry and Skibbereen also have a game in hand each.

Newcastle West, who are sixth, entertain Kanturk, who are five points clear of the relegation zone. Newcastle West were defeated 33-19 by Thomond at Liam Fitzgerald Park last time out, while Kanturk were defeated 24-10 by Mallow at the Duhallow venue. The West Limerick side, who have a game in hand, are aiming for a top four finish. Kanturk will be looking to preserve their top-flight status as Clanwilliam’s narrow 17-15 win over Clonakilty has left five points between the Tipperary Town side and Kanturk.

Charleville lock horns with Clanwilliam at the foot of the table at Smith’s Road. Charleville were defeated 34-24 by Skibbereen in West Cork last time out. Clanwilliam’s narrow 17-15 victory over Clonakilty in Tipperary Town has moved them to within five points of Kanturk.

The game of the day in Division 2 is the meeting of Crosshaven and St Mary’s at Myrtleville Cross, which also doubles up as a Munster Junior Cup tie. Both of these sides are tied at the top of the table with 52 points each, while St Mary’s are in pole position, as they are unbeaten. Crosshaven put a big dent in Kinsale’s promotion aspirations last time out as they ran out 35-19 away winners in a South Cork derby. St Mary’s defeated Fermoy 52-17 at Grove Island. A Bonus point win for the Saints, would see them claim the title should they keep the home side pointless. The winners of this game will be at home to Castleisland in the next round of the Munster Junior Cup.

Fourth-placed St Senan’s welcome third-placed Kinsale to the Banner County, in a game which doubles up as the first Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield semi-final. St Senan’s claimed all points on offer from their 24-19 away win over Ballincollig, while Kinsale were defeated 35-19 at home by South Cork neighbours Crosshaven. Both sides are eight points behind Crosshaven and St Mary’s. The winners will meet Abbeyfeale or St Mary’s in the Munster Junior Club’s Challenge Shield decider.

Cobh Pirates, who were held to a 22-22 draw by Fethard in South Tipperary, but claimed a bonus point as they scored four tries, welcome Ballincollig, who are propping up the table, to the Paddocks. Ballincollig were defeated 24-19 by St Senan’s at Tanner Park last time out, but claimed a losing bonus point.

Fermoy, who are 11th, face a tricky task as they entertain Abbeyfeale, who are tenth at the Showgrounds. Fermoy were defeated 52-17 by St Mary’s at Grove Island, while the West Limerick side claimed all points on offer from their 32-27 victory over Waterpark.

Waterpark welcome Galbally-Mitchelstown, who are second from bottom to Suirside. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Abbeyfeale and Old Christians respectively, where both sides claimed a losing bonus point each.

Youghal, who are hovering above the drop zone following their maximum-point 27-14 victory over Tralee in the Kingdom, welcome Fethard to East Cork. The South Tipperary side were held to a 22-22 draw at home by Cobh Pirates last time out.

Division 3 champions Ennis entertain Killarney in the Banner County. Ennis claimed maximum points from their comprehensive 53-12 away win over Ardscoil Old Boys.

Killarney were defeated 22-14 by Castleisland in a Kingdom derby. Second-placed Castleisland, who will be playing in Division 2 next season, welcome Dungarvan to the Kingdom. Both sides recorded away wins over Killarney and Douglas last time out.

Waterford City are at home to Douglas and the Suirsiders will be looking to finish the campaign on a winning note following their 25-12 away defeat by Carrick-on-Suir. Douglas were defeated 29-12 by Dungarvan.

In Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League, leaders Ennis-Kilrush take on third-placed UL Bohemian at Annacotty. The Clare side claimed all points on offer from their 27-8 home win over Tralee, while the Limerick side put up 28 points without reply against Ballincollig. Ennis-Kilrush ran out 27-19 bonus point winners when these sides met in the Banner County in November.

Dolphin, who were defeated 38-28 by Tralee in the Kingdom last time out, but claimed a bonus point as they scored four tries, lock horns with Shannon-TUS at Virgin Media Park. The Limerick side ran out 19-12 home winners over UL Bohemian last time out. They also recorded a comprehensive 41-5 victory, when they met Dolphin at Coonagh in November.

Thurles, who are third in Division 2, entertain Bantry Bay, who are propping up the table. Thurles put up 28 points without reply against Ballincollig at the Mid Cork venue last time out, while Bantry Bay were defeated 26-12 at home by Midleton.

Fourth-placed Mallow entertain Clonakilty, who are fifth. The North Cork side were held to a 22-22 draw, but scored four tries to claim a bonus point at the County Limerick venue, while Clonakilty were defeated 15-7 at home by Midleton. Mallow recorded a 7-3 victory in January’s corresponding fixture, resulting in a losing bonus point for the West Cork side.

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