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Weekend Preview

4th April 2024 By The Editor

Weekend Preview

In the All Ireland Junior Provincial Championship semi-finals, Munster Champions Thomond go head to head with Leinster champions Monkstown. The winners will meet Connacht champions Creggs or Ulster’s Ballyclare in the decider.

The final series of games in the group phase of the Energia Men’s All Ireland League are down for decision on this weekend.

The Junior Provincial semi-finals will also be decided at Ashbourne RFC in County Meath and there is also action in the Energia Women’s All Ireland League.

Cork Constitution, who are one point behind Division 1A leaders and defending champions Terenure College, travel to the Palace Grounds, to take on City of Armagh, who are hovering above the drop zone. The Lilywhites ran out 10-7 winners over Ballynahinch on Leeside last time out, while the Ulster side were defeated 64-31 by Lansdowne on the Back Pitch of the Aviva Stadium. Cork Constitution won October’s corresponding fixture on the opening day of the campaign 28-21, resulting in a losing bonus point for City of Armagh.

Shannon, following their maximum point 37-22 victory over Young Munster at Thomond Park on Easter Sunday, travel to the Capital, to take on seventh-placed UCD at Belfield. UCD were defeated 22-13 by bottom side Dublin University, who have been relegated, last time out. Shannon recorded a 27-22 victory when these sides met in Limerick in October, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Dublin Students.

Young Munster, who were defeated 37-22 by Shannon at Thomond Park in a Limerick derby, will have their work cut out, as they lock horns with Lansdowne, at Tom Clifford Park. The Dublin side, who are eight points clear of Ballynahinch in fourth place, defeated City of Armagh 64-31 at the Back Pitch of the Aviva Stadium last time out. Lansdowne ran out 29-14 home winners over Young Munster in October’s opener in Dublin.

Garryowen and Highfield go head to head in the game of the day in Division 1B at Dooradoyle. Third-placed Garryowen, are ahead of fourth-placed Highfield on scoring differences. The Sky Blues defeated Old Belvedere 28-3 in Dublin last time out, while Highfield ran out 21-7 home winners over Blackrock College. The Leesiders won October’s corresponding fixture 20-10 at Woodleigh Park.

Seventh-placed UCC travel to the Capital for their mid-table clash with Blackrock College, who are sixth, at Stradbrook. The Leeside Students recorded a comprehensive 48-7 home win over Buccaneers last time out, while Blackrock College were defeated 20-10 away by Highfield. The Dublin side ran out 31-20 winners in October’s opener on Leeside.

In Division 2A, champions Nenagh Ormond, who have already been promoted, make the relatively short trip to Annacotty, to take on UL Bohemian. The North Tipperary side clinched promotion with a maximum-point 29-12 home win over MU Barnhall. The Limerick side have slipped to eighth place following a run of six successive defeats, stretching back to January. UL Bohemian were defeated 32-19 by Banbridge in County Down last time out. Their last victory was when they defeated Navan 26-17 at Annacotty. The North Tipperary side ran out 39-15 winners in October’s corresponding fixture.

Cashel, who have climbed up to second, welcome Banbridge, who have climbed up to fourth, to the Premier County. Cashel will be looking to make the most of home advantage in their bid for a home semi-final following last week’s maximum-point 33-19 victory over Malone in Belfast. The Ulster side go into the tie on the back of a bonus point 32-19 home win over UL Bohemian. Banbridge ran out 26-14 winners when they met Cashel in County Down.

Old Crescent, who have slipped to fifth place, following their 24-13 home defeat by Navan, travel to County Kildare, to take on MU Barnhall, who were defeated 19-12 by Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary. The Limerick side, who are two points behind fourth-placed Banbridge, defeated MU Barnhall 15-10 in their opener at Takumi Park, resulting in a losing bonus point for the County Kildare side.

Dolphin remain rooted to foot of Division 2B and are facing a second successive relegation. They were denied a valuable bonus point victory as they were defeated by a late try as fellow strugglers Belfast Harlequins defeated the Leesiders 38-34 in Belfast. Dolphin had to settle for two bonus points, as they scored four tries. This weekend, they entertain fifth-placed Dungannon, who ran out 32-20 away winners over Sligo at Virgin Media Park. Dungannon side ran out 48-14 winners over Dolphin at the County Tyrone venue in October.

Bruff who are fourth in Division 2C, following their 26-20 away win over Enniscorthy, to secure their place in the promotion play-offs lock horns with seventh-placed Clonmel at Kilballyowen Park. Clonmel were defeated 38-31 by bottom side Bangor at the South Tipperary venue last time out. The County Limerick side ran out 32-26 away winners in October’s corresponding fixture.

Sixth-placed Midleton travel to County Down to take on bottom side Bangor at Upritchard Park. Midleton were defeated 43-17 by Galwegians at the East Cork venue last time out, while Bangor recorded a 38-31 away win over Clonmel. Midleton recorded a narrow 18-17 home win when these sides met in East Cork.

In the All Ireland Junior Provincial Championship semi-finals, Munster Champions Thomond go head to head with Leinster champions Monkstown. The winners will meet Connacht champions Creggs or Ulster’s Ballyclare in the decider.

Runaway leaders UL Bohemian travel to the Capital for their Energiaa Women’s All Ireland League tie with second-placed Railway Union at Willow Lodge, with five points separating these sides. The Limerick side recorded a comprehensive 41-7 victory over Ballincollig at Annacotty, while Railway Union ran out 34-18 away winners over Old Belvedere in a Dublin derby. UL Bohemian won November’s corresponding fixture 10-7 at Annacotty, resulting in a losing bonus point for Railway Union.

Ballincollig are also in Dublin, as they take on Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park. Both sides go into the tie on the back of defeats by Blackrock College and Railway Union respectively. Old Belvedere put up 50 points without reply when these sides met at Tanner Park.

Junior Preview

It is a quiet weekend on the local scene with a handful of games across an assortment of Junior competition, together with the Women’s Munster League and Cup competitions.

In the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, 2002 winners Kilfeacle lock horns with Thurles in a Premier County derby in West Tipperary. The winners will be away to Shannon in the quarter finals.

Highfield, who last won the trophy in 2019, welcome Skibbereen to Woodleigh Park for their quarter final tie. The winners will be away to Shannon, Kilfeacle or Thurles in the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate, 2002 winners Youghal entertain 2003 winners Cobh Pirates in an East Cork derby. The winners will meet Killarney, who won the trophy in 2011 and 2013, or Fethard, who go head to head at the East Kerry venue, in the decider.

Abbeyfeale take on Kinsale at the West Limerick venue in Division 2 of the Munster Junior League. While Kinsale have nothing left to play for, a win for Abbeyfeale would guarantee their safety in this division for next season.

The Munster Junior Club’s Challenge Cup final is down for decision as Richmond and holder Newcastle West lock horns at Grove Island on Friday evening. Newcastle West are looking to win the trophy for the third successive year, as they defeated Richmond in last year’s decider at Smith’s Road in Charleville. They also defeated Clanwilliam in the 2022 decider at Virgin Media Park.

In Division 1 of the Munster Women’s League, second-placed Tralee, who are 11 points behind leaders Ennis-Kilrush, travel to Coonagh to take on Shannon-TUS, who are third. Tralee ran out 3-0 winners when these sides met in the Kingdom.

UL Bohemian, who are fourth, welcome bottom side Dolphin, who are still without a win, to Annacotty. The Limerick side ran out 29-17 winners when these sides meet at Virgin Media Park in December. In the Munster Women’s Division 2 Cup, Bantry Bay are at home to Ballincollig and Midleton welcome Thurles to East Cork.
Bruff go head to head with Mallow at Kilballyowen Park.

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