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Weekend Preview

29th March 2024 By Leonard Allen

Weekend Preview

Nenagh Ormond need only one point to secure the Energia Men's All Ireland League Division 2A title this weekend from their clash with MU Barnhall.

Across a busy Easter Weekend, the second last series of games in the Energia Men’s All Ireland League is down for decision. There is action the Energia Women’s All Ireland League and the Frazer McMullen U20 Cup gets underway.

In Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League, Cork Constitution will be looking to get back to winning ways as they welcome Ballynahinch to Temple Hill. The Lilywhites have slipped to third following their narrow 26-23 home defeat by Terenure College last week, where they claimed a losing bonus point. The Ulster side are four points adrift of a play-off place in fifth place, following their 10-5 home victory over Lansdowne. Ballynahinch ran out 31-28 winners over Cork Constitution, when these sides met in County Down in October.

Shannon and Young Munster lock horns in a Limerick derby at Thomond Park. This game is a 5pm kick off on Sunday evening. Shannon remain in ninth place following last week’s 36-26 away defeat by City of Armagh, where they claimed a bonus point as they scored four tries. Young Munster, who are in sixth place, claimed all points on offer from their 25-10 home win over Dublin University. Shannon won October’s corresponding fixture 35-7 at Tom Clifford Park.

Garryowen, who have climbed up to third in Division 1B, following their 55-26 maximum point home win over Queen’s University, travel to the Capital to take on Old Belvedere, at Ollie Campbell Park. Old Belvedere have slipped to fifth place and are one point adrift of the top-four, following last week’s 21-17 away defeat by Blackrock College in a Dublin derby, where they claimed a losing bonus point. The Sky Blues ran out 20-12 winners when they met Old Belvedere in Limerick.

Highfield, who have climbed up to fourth place following their maximum point 24-7 victory over Buccaneers in Athlone, welcome Blackrock College, who are sixth, to Woodleigh Park. Blackrock College, who are four points adrift of the top-four, ran out 21-17 home winners over Old Belvedere in a Dublin derby last time out. Blackrock College defeated Highfield 24-21 in October’s corresponding fixture, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Leesiders.

UCC, who have climbed up to seventh place after claiming two valuable bonus points from their 31-26 home defeat by runaway leaders St Mary’s College, as they scored four tries, will be looking to take another step closer to safety as they host bottom side Buccaneers. Buccaneers were defeated 24-7 at home by Highfield last time out. The Leeside Students ran out 36-20 winners when these sides met in Athlone.

The game of the day in Division 2A is the top of the table clash between leaders Nenagh Ormond and second-placed MU Barnhall in North Tipperary. Nenagh Ormond, who returned from the Royal County with a losing bonus point from their 15-11 defeat by Navan, need only one point to secure the title. MU Barnhall were narrowly defeated 28-27 at home by Banbridge last time out. Nenagh Ormond ran out 17-16 winners in October’s corresponding fixture in County Kildare.

Third-placed Cashel, who revived their promotion hopes with a 23-10 home win over Greystones last time out, travel to Belfast to take on bottom side Malone at Gibson Park. The Belfast side go into the tie on the back of a 17-15 away win over UL Bohemian. Cashel recorded a 40-5 home win over Malone, when these sides met in the Premier County.

Fourth-placed Old Crescent go head to head with Navan, who are sixth, at Takumi Park. Old Crescent recorded a narrow 22-20 home win over Ballymena last time out, while the County Meath side recorded a narrow 15-11 victory over leaders Nenagh Ormond in the Royal County. Navan won October’s corresponding fixture 26-19, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Limerick side.

UL Bohemian, who have slipped to seventh following their 17-15 home defeat by bottom side Malone, travel to County Down, to take on Banbridge, who are fifth, at Rifle Park. UL Bohemian are four points adrift of the relegation zone, while the Ulster side are two points adrift of the top four following their narrow away 28-27 win over MU Barnhall.UL Bohemian ran out 27-10 winners when these sides meat at Annacotty in October.

In Division 2B, Dolphin who are propping up the table following their 23-21 defeat by Skerries at Virgin Media Park, where they claimed a losing bonus point, are away to Belfast Harlequins. The Belfast side have moved up to ninth following their 17-17 draw in and Ulster derby with Dungannon. Dolphin ran out 21-19 winners when they met Belfast Harlequins on Leeside.

Bruff, who are fourth in Division 2C, face a tricky task as they travel to County Wexford, to take on Enniscorthy, who are third. Both sides go into the tie on the back of away defeats by Bangor and Ballina respectively. Bruff won October’s corresponding fixture 24-21 at the County Limerick venue, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Model County side.

Sixth-placed Midleton will be looking to make the most of home advantage following their narrow 21-19 away win over Clogher Valley, as they entertain Galwegians in East Cork. Galwegians recorded a comprehensive 46-13 bonus point home win over Clonmel last time out. The Galway side also ran out 41-22 home winners over Midleton, when these sides met in October.

Seventh-placed Clonmel entertain Bangor, who are propping up the table, in South Tipperary. Clonmel were heavily defeated 46-13 by Galwegians in Galway last time out, while Bangor recorded a 21-6 home win over Bruff. The South Tipperary side defeated Bangor 23-17 at the County Down venue, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Ulster side.

In the Women’s All Ireland League, fifth-placed Ballincollig welcome Blackrock College, who are fourth to Tanner Park, with ten points separating these sides. Ballincollig were defeated 63-10 by Railway Union at Tanner Park last time out, while Blackrock College were defeated 17-5 at home by Suttonians in as Dublin derby. Blackrock College put up 48 points without reply when they met Ballincollig in Dublin in November.

There are three Frazer McMullen Cup ties down for decision.

Lansdowne welcome Old Crescent to the Capital and UCC entertain Dublin University on Leeside.

Shannon and UCD go head to head on the Back Pitch at Thomond Park. All these games will be played on Sunday afternoon.

Junior Preview

It is a quiet weekend on the local scene as some outstanding games have been rescheduled.

In the Munster Junior Cup, St Mary’s, whose only triumph was in 1968, lock horns with Thomond, who last won the trophy as part of a three-in-a-row in 1991, at Grove Island on Friday night. The winners will be away to Cork Constitution or UCC in the semi-finals.

Highfield, who last won the trophy in 2019, go head to head with Clonakilty, whose only triumph was in 2001, at Woodleigh Park. The winners will be rewarded with a home quarter final against Skibbereen.

The second semi-final of the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup is down for decision as Bandon welcome last year’s beaten finalists Richmond to Old Chapel. The winners will play holders Newcastle West, who are looking to win the trophy for the third successive year in the decider.

In Division 1 of the Munster Junior League, Newcastle West welcome Skibbereen to West Limerick. A win will see the West Limerick side secure their place in the top-four, while this is the first of two games outstanding that Skibbereen have to play, with the other being against Muskerry. Skibbereen are also playing for a top-four finish and a bonus point win would move the West Cork side level with Newcastle West.

Cobh Pirates, who have secured their status in Division 2, lock horns with Youghal at the Paddocks in an East Cork derby. Youghal will be looking to continue their recent good run, which yielded successive bonus point victories at home over Fethard and away against Tralee, to boost their chances of survival.

Fermoy will be looking to make the most of home advantage for their final game as they entertain Fethard at the Showgrounds. A win for the North Cork side would secure their safety for next season and put them ahead of Fethard, who are already safe, by a point.
The Munster Women’s Open Bowl decider takes place as Dolphin and Mallow go head to head at O’Dowd Park in Tralee.

Third-placed Shannon go head to head with leaders Ennis-Kilrush in Division 1 of the Munster Women’s’ League at Coonagh. Both side’s go into the tie on the back of comprehensive victories over Dolphin. These sides played out a 12-12 draw in the Banner County in November.

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