27th January 2022 By Leonard Allen
The Men’s and Women’s All Ireland Leagues continue this weekend with full programmes of games.
It is also a busy weekend on the local front with games in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup, Sections A and B of the Munster Junior League and the Munster Women’s Leagues and Divisional Cup.
In Division 1A of the All Ireland League, Young Munster, who have slipped to fourth place following their 31-24 defeat by Garryowen in the Limerick derby at Dooradoyle, are at home to sixth-placed Dublin University. The Dublin Students were defeated 23-9 by leaders Clontarf at College Park in their last game and the Limerick side will be looking to avenge November’s 38-3 defeat.
Cork Constitution, who are fifth and three points adrift of the top four following their 24-7 home win over Leeside neighbours UCC, welcome Ballynahinch to Temple Hill. The County Down side are still without a win but are second from bottom after claiming a losing bonus point from their 27-23 home defeat by Terenure College. The Lilywhites ran out 19-17 winners when these sides met in November and Ballynahinch also claimed a losing bonus point.
Seventh-placed Garryowen, who defeated Limerick neighbours Young Munster 31-24 at Dooradoyle and claimed maximum points, following a run of six successive defeats, face a tough assignment as they travel to the capital to take on Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium. The Dublin side are second and go into the tie on the back of a 32-27 defeat by UCD at Belfield, from which they claimed a losing bonus point. Lansdowne also ran out 29-5 winners when these sides met in Limerick in November.
UCC are now propping up the table following their 24-7 defeat by Cork Constitution at Temple Hill. This was the Leeside Students’ fifth successive defeat, with their only victory coming against fellow strugglers Ballynahinch in County Down. They will have their work cut out as they travel to Dublin to take on leaders Clontarf at Castle Avenue. The Dublin side won November’s corresponding fixture on Leeside 36-17 and they go into the tie on the back of a 23-9 away win over Dublin University.
In the Top Four of the Women’s All Ireland League, UL Bohemian, who have climbed up to second place, following their maximum point 41-7 home win over Old Belvedere, lock horns with leaders Blackrock College at the UL Arena. Blackrock College go into the tie on the back of a narrow 16-13 away win over Railway Union in a Dublin derby.
Ballincollig, who are third in the Conference following their narrow 17-14 away win over Wicklow, entertain basement side Cooke at Tanner Park. The Belfast side go into the tie on the back of a 27-7 home defeat by Suttonians.
Back to the men’s All Ireland League, Highfield, who were defeated 27-21 by City of Armagh at the Palace Grounds, from which they claimed their second losing bonus points, will be looking to make the most of home advantage as they entertain Banbridge, who are second from bottom in Division 1B. The Ulster side claimed a losing bonus point from their 21-16 home defeat by leaders Old Wesley and Highfield ran out 26-19 winners when these sides met in County Down.
Fourth-placed Shannon, who recorded a comprehensive 42-24 home win over struggling Malone at Thomond Park, face a tricky task as they travel to County Kildare to take on Naas, who are fifth. Naas go into the tie on the back of a 27-17 defeat by St Mary’s College at Templeville Road and they won November’s corresponding fixture at Thomond Park 35-29, from which the Limerick side claimed a losing bonus point.
Third-placed Cashel will be looking to make the most of home advantage count in their quest for a top four finish in Division 2A, as they lock horns with fifth-placed Old Crescent in the Premier County. The Tipperary side claimed maximum points from their 36-24 away win over Dolphin and they also claimed all points on offer from November’s corresponding fixture at Takumi Park, which they won on a 40-19 scoreline. Old Crescent recorded a narrow 21-20 home win over Nenagh Ormond last time out.
Seventh-placed Dolphin are away to MU Barnhall, who are sixth. The Leesiders, who have had an indifferent season, were defeated 36-24 by Cashel at Musgrave Park last time out and they won November’s corresponding fixture 28-20. The County Kildare side drew their last game 20-20 against Buccaneers at Parsonstown.
UL Bohemian, who are hovering above the drop zone following their heavy 42-17 defeat by Ballymena in County Antrim, face a tough assignment as they entertain leaders Queen’s University at the UL Arena. The Belfast Students ran out 38-14 home winners over Rainey Old Boys and they won November’s corresponding fixture, 40-8.
Nenagh Ormond, who claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 21-20 defeat by Old Crescent at Takumi Park, which moves them off the foot of the table, will have their work cut out as they welcome second-placed Ballymena to North Tipperary. The Ulster side recorded a comprehensive 42-17 home win over UL Bohemian last time out and they ran out 42-17 winners when they met Nenagh Ormond at Eaton Park.
Midleton, who are sixth in Division 2C, make the long trip north to Foyleside to take on City of Derry, who are hovering above the drop zone. Midleton are seeking their first win of 2022, following successive defeats by Tullamore and Omagh Academicals. The East Cork side ran out 31-10 winners in November’s corresponding fixture. The Folylesiders were defeated 23-14 by Skerries at Judge’s Road last time out.
Bruff, who are seven points clear of the drop zone in seventh place, travel to the Faithful County to take on Tullamore. The County Limerick side were defeated 38-27 by leaders Enniscorthy at Alcast Park, while Tullamore ran out 15-6 away winners over Clonmel last time out. Tullamore won November’s corresponding fixture at Kilballyowen Park on a 16-13 scoreline, which resulted in a losing bonus point for Bruff.
Clonmel, who are second from bottom and still seeking their first victory, are away to fifth-placed Omagh Academicals. The South Tipperary side were defeated 15-6 by Tullamore at Ardgaoithe last time out, while the County Tyrone side go into the tie on the back of a 21-14 away win over Midleton.
Sunday’s Well, who remain rooted to the foot of the table following their 24-10 defeat by Bangor in County Down, will have their work cut out as they welcome second-placed Skerries to Musgrave Park. The County Dublin side ran out 23-14 away winners over City of Derry last time out and they won November’s corresponding fixture 33-5.
On Saturday, Ballina-Killaloe RFC meet Clonakilty RFC in Fermoy in the final of the Munster U18 Girls League.
Ballina-Killaloe enter the final off the back of 24-10 semi-final win over Bruff while Clonakilty will be confident after beating Ennis 36-31 in West Cork last weekend.
Proceedings resume following the Christmas break in the Munster Women’s competitions.
In Division 1 of the League, unbeaten leaders Kerry go head to head with LIT-Shannon in Tralee. The Kingdom claimed all points on offer when they defeated the Limerick side 24-15 at Coonagh.
In Division 2, third-placed UL Bohemian entertain fifth-placed Bantry Bay at Annacotty. The Limerick side have maximum points from their two games to date against Waterpark and Skibbereen, which were both played in October. The West Cork side were defeated 27-5 by Ballincollig at Tanner Park last time out.
In the Women’s Divisional Cup, Ballincollig go head to head with Tipperary at Tanner Park.
The Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup continues this weekend.
There are two derbies in the Kingdom.
Chorca Dhuibhne entertain Killorglin in the West Kerry Gaeltacht and the winners will be away to Kinsale in Round 2.
Killarney are at home to Tralee, whose only triumph in the competition was in 1934. The winners will be rewarded with home advantage against Midleton, who won the trophy in 1997 and 1998.
Castleisland travel to West Cork to take on Bantry Bay and the winners will be at home to Bruff.
Clonmel, who won the trophy for the first time in 2014, welcome 2006 winners Cobh Pirates to South Tipperary. The winners will have a home tie against Ennis or four-time winners Dolphin, who go head to head in the Banner County.
In other ties, Charleville are at home to Youghal, with Thurles awaiting the winners.
Fermoy welcome Waterford City to the Showgrounds and the winners will be at home to Kanturk.
Fethard are at home to Dungarvan and 2011 winners Cashel entertain St Mary’s, whose only triumph was in 1968.
The game of the day in Section A of the Junior League is the meeting of leaders Bandon, who lock horns with second-placed Richmond at Old Chapel. The West Cork side will have their work cut out if they are to maintain their unbeaten run as Richmond recorded a 24-13 home win over Muskerry last time out.
Two former All Ireland League sides, who are also playing for a top four finish, go head to head as third-placed Waterpark entertain Thomond at Ballinakill. The Limerick side are joint fourth on eight points apiece with Newcastle West, who are away to Old Christians.
Muskerry, who were defeated 24-13 by Richmond in Limerick, are at home to Kilfeacle.
In Section B, Galbally, who are propping up the table on two points from a 19-19 draw against St Senan’s at the County Limerick venue in October, are at home to Mallow, who are tied on five points with Clonakilty.
St Senan’s, who are second from bottom, welcome Clonakilty to the Banner County.
Leaders Clanwilliam entertain Skibbereen in Tipperary Town and third-placed Abbeyfeale take on Crosshaven, who are second in West Limerick.