27th March 2009 By Munster Rugby
The A.I.B. All Ireland League continues this Saturday with a full series of games across all three divisions and the Provincial League Championship also gets underway.
In Division 1 the pick of the day sees leaders and defending champions Cork Constitution travel to the Capital to take on Blackrock College at Stradbrook in a top of the table clash. A defeat for the home side would be a big set back for their hopes of a top four finish and on current form Con should continue on their winning run.
Garryowen welcome Ballymena to Dooradoyle and a win for the Limerick side will almost certainly spell Division 1 Section B rugby for the North Antrim side next season. The Light Blues need to recover from last week’s Cup exit in order to keep their challenge alive for a semi final spot.
Dolphin, who are in fourth place travel to Young Munster and will be anxious to come away with the points in their quest for a top four finish, while maximum points are also vital for ‘Munsters in their bid to avoid relegation.
Shannon entertain Old Belvedere at Coonagh where maximum points are vital for Shannon if they are to qualify for the semi finals, while Belvo’ need to put a few results together if they wish to make Section A of the league next season.
U.L. Bohemian are also in the Capital as they take on U.C.D. at the Belfield Bowl. A win for the Limerick side will put them into a strong position of finishing in the top eight, while the Dublin Students are still not out of the relegation battle.
Division 2 leaders U.C.C. travel to Dr. Hickey Park to take on Greystones in a bid to gain maximum points against the Wicklow side and maintain their advantage over Lansdowne at the top of the table.
The Cork Students will also be depending on a favour from City neighbours Highfield who entertain Lansdowne at Woodleigh Park.
Fifth-placed Bruff welcome All Ireland Cup finalists and third-placed Ballynahinch to Kilballyowen Park and this is a must win game for the South Limerick side if they hope to reach the play offs, while a defeat for the Ulster side would put a severe dent in their promotion aspirations.
Clonakilty take on Bective Rangers at The Vale and a win for the West Cork side will be a massive boost in their quest to move clear of the relegation zone.
Fourth-placed Old Crescent travel to Kiltiernan to take on D.L.S.P. and a win for the visitors, whose promotion aspirations are virtually over would push them closer to the play offs and will send the South Dublin side another step closer to third tier rugby.
Thomond and Wanderers go head to head in their basement clash at Liam Fitzgerald Park and the home side, who are renowned for their battling qualities, will give the Dublin side a tough game and a victory will be a big boost in Thomond’s bid to avoid the drop to Division 3.
In Division 3 third-placed Midleton travel to North Tipperary to take on Nenagh Ormond where maximum points are vital for the East Cork side in their quest for promotion.
Bottom Club Waterpark are at home to leaders Corinthians and a defeat will consign the Waterford side to Junior ranks for next season.
Sunday’s Well are also in action in a basement clash as they welcome Barnhall to Musgrave Park and a win for the ‘Well will see them draw level on points with the Kildare side and boost their chances of retaining their senior status.
The Provincial League Championship series gets underway this weekend and back-to-back Munster Junior League champions Cashel travel to take on perennial Connacht Champions Monivea. The Tipperary side have suffered a major set back with injuries to key players and the dramatic circumstances of their recent All Ireland Junior Cup defeat against Tullamore, while the Galway side will have it all to play for if they are to make up for the disappointment of last season’s mishap.
In the Munster Seconds League Bruff take on Young Munster at Kilballyowen Park and a win is vital for the home side if they are to avoid relegation from Division 1, while Highfield, who are also fighting a relegation battle, only need a draw from their trip to Shannon to stay up and consign Bruff to Division 2.
In Division 2, leaders Dolphin entertain Nenagh Ormond in the final game of the campaign at Musgrave Park and a win is vital for the Tipperary side if they are to finish level on points with Dolphin.
The big Junior game of the weekend sees U.C.C. and Garryowen go head to head in the Munster Junior Cup semi final and a victory for the Limerick side will see them set up a repeat pairing of the 2007 final against U.L. Bohemian, which was won by the Sky Blues.
Two sides with contrasting fortunes in the Munster Junior League contest the inaugural Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Shield final as Charleville and St. Mary’s go head to head in Abbeyfeale. This is a tournament contested by Clubs in Divisions 2 and 3. Charleville, who are battling against relegation in Division 2, will be seeking to finish a disappointing season with silverware, while the Limerick side, who are also chasing promotion from Division 3, will see this as an opportunity of bringing the glory days back to Corbally.
There is also a full programme of games across all three divisions of the Munster Junior League.
In Division 1 there will be nothing more than pride at stake as Crosshaven entertain Clonmel at Myrtleville Cross.
County Cup holders Cobh Pirates, who have had a good season in Cup competitions travel to take on Newport and the points are vital for ‘Port if they are to remain in the top flight.
Skibbereen will have to make the most of home advantage as they entertain Richmond in their bid to move out of the bottom four, while the Limerick side, who enjoyed a good season, will be no pushover.
Promoted St. Senan’s need a victory from their visit to Ballyanly against Muskerry if they are to be crowned Division 2 champions, while this result would send the Mid-Cork side a step closer to the danger zone.
Ennis, whose aspirations of promotion have ended, entertain Newcastle West, who are also in mid-table.
Youghal, who have been on a good run recently in their quest to avoid a second successive relegation, will be seeking maximum points when they take on Kanturk, who are in mid-table, at the North Cork venue.
In Division 3 Section A leaders Castleisland welcome third-placed Presentation to the Kingdom and a win is vital for the Limerick side if they are to leapfrog City neighbours St. Mary’s into second place, while a win for the Kerry side will end Presentation’s challenge for a semi final spot.
Other games in this Section feature Kerry Clubs against Clare Clubs, where all four sides are winding down their seasons as Killorglin have a home tie against Kilrush, while Killarney, who have had a good run recently are away to Scariff.
Runaway leaders in Section B Carrick-on-Suir should be expected to pick up maximum points from their visit to bottom side Dungarvan and extend their lead at the top.
Douglas are in a must win situation if they are to overtake Galbally into second place and make a swift return to the second tier as they entertain Waterford City at Moneygourney.
Second-placed Galbally should be expected to come away with the points from their home encounter against Fermoy, while the a win for the North Cork side would also be doing Douglas a favour, but this is highly unlikely and the South Limerick side should seal their place with Carrick’ in the semi finals.
The quarter finals of the Munster Junior 2 League Cup get underway this weekend with three ties down for decision.
All ties are expected to be close affairs as Garryowen and Cork Constitution meet in that age-old rivalry at Dooradoyle and Bandon welcome Thomond to Old Chapel and both of these games are on Saturday.
The only game on Sunday sees Ballincollig travel to the Premier County to take on Cashel at the Spafield, while U.C.C’s home tie with Shannon has been postponed.
SATURDAY 28th MARCH
AIB League Division 1:Blackrock College v Cork Constitution,Stradbrook,2.30;
Clontarf v Buccaneers,Castle Avenue,2.30;
Garryowen v Ballymena,Dooradoyle,2.30;
Shannon v Old Belvedere,Coonagh,2.30;
St. Mary’s College v Galwegians,Templeville Road,2.30;
Terenure College v Dungannon,Lakelands,2.30;
U.C.D. v U.L. Bohemian,Belfield Bowl,2.30;
Young Munster v Dolphin,Tom Clifford Park,2.30;
Division 2:Bruff v Ballynahinch,Kilballyowen Park,2.30;
Clonakilty v Bective Rangers,The Vale,2.30;
D.L.S.P. v Old Crescent,Kilternan,2.30;
Dublin University v Instonians,College Park,2.30;
Greystones v U.C.C.,Dr. Hickey Park,2.30;
Highfield v Lansdowne,Woodleigh Park,2.30;
Malone v Belfast Harlequins,Gibson Park,2.30;
Thomond v Wanderers,Fitzgerald Park,2.30;
Division 3:Ards v Banbridge,Hamilton Park,2.30;
Naas v Suttonians,Fournaughts,2.30;
Nenagh Ormond v Midleton,New Ormond Park,2.30;
Old Wesley v Connemara,Donnybrook,2.30;
Queens University v Co. Carlow,Dub Lane,2.30;
Rainey Old Boys v Portadown,Hatrick Park,2.30;
Sunday’s Well v Barnhall,Musgrave Park,2.30;
Waterpark v Corinthians Ballinakill,2.30;
All Ireland Provincial League Championship:Monivea v Cashel,Monivea,2.30;
Navan v City of Derry,Navan,2.30;
Munster Junior 2 League Cup:Garryowen v Cork Constitution,Dooradoyle,1.00;
Bandon v Thomond,Bandon,2.30;
Webb Cup:Clonmel v Old Crescent,Clonmel,2.30;
Junior 2 Cup South:Corca Dhuibhne v Cobh Pirates,Ballydavid,2.00;
Gleeson Cup Semi Final:Waterford City v Galbally,Waterford,5.00;
All Ireland Under 20 Cup Quarter Finals:U.C.C. v U.C.D.,Mardyke,2.30;
Lansdowne v Buccaneers,Dublin,2.30;
Dungannon v Blackrock College,Ballymacarn Park,2.30;
Division 2 Play Off:Waterpark v Richmond,Clonmel,2.00;
Junior Friendly:Clanwilliam v Thurles,Clanwilliam,2.30;
All Ireland Under 18 Cup Semi Final:Sligo v Highfield,Sportsground,2.30;
All Ireland Under 16 Cup Semi Final:Galwegians v Tralee,Sportsground,2.30;
South Under 16 B Cup:Highfield B v Cork Constitution,Woodleigh Park,10.30;
South Under 16 West Cork Cup Semi Final:Bandon v Ballincollig,Bandon,1.30;
South Under 14 Cup:Bandon v Cork Constitution,Bandon,11.00;
Kanturk v Sunday’s Well,Kanturk,12.00;
South Under 14 B Cup:Bantry Bay v Crosshaven,Bantry,12.00;
Dunmanway v Kinsale,Dunmanway,11.00;
Skibbereen v Midleton,Skibbereen,12.00;
West Under 16 Cup Semi Final:Abbeyfeale v Corca Dhuibhne,Abbeyfeale,12.00;
West Under 13 Cup:Abbeyfeale v Killarney,Abbeyfeale,12.00;
Tralee v Charleville,Tralee,12,00;
Under 14 Friendly:Ennis v Sligo,Lees Road,11.30;
Girls Under 16 League:Crosshaven v Mallow,Crosshaven,12.00;
Girls Under 16 Friendly:Young Munster v Shannon,Derryknockane,12.00;
SUNDAY 29th MARCH
Representative:Munster U20/U19 v English Colleges,Dooradoyle,12.00;
Munster Junior Clubs Shield Final:Charleville v St. Mary’s,Abbeyfeale,3.00;
Munster Junior League Division 1:Crosshaven v Clonmel,Crosshaven,3.00;
Newport v Cobh Pirates,Newport,3.00;
Skibbereen v Richmond,Skibbereen,3.00;
Division 2:Ennis v Newcastle West,Ennis,3.00;
Kanturk v Youghal,Kanturk,3.00;
Muskerry v St. Senan’s,Muskerry,3.00;
Division 3 Section A:Castleisland v Presentation,Castleisland,3.00;
Killorglin v Kilrush,Killorglin,3.00;
Scariff v Killarney,Scariff,3.00;
Section B:Douglas v Waterford City,Moneygourney,3.00;
Dungarvan v Carrick-on-Suir,Dungarvan,3.00;
Galbally v Fermoy,Galbally,3.00;
Munster Seconds League Division 1B:Bruff v Young Munster,Bruff,3.00;
Shannon v Highfield,Coonagh,3.00;
Division 2A:Dolphin v Nenagh Ormond,Musgrave Park,3.00;
Munster Junior 2 League Cup:Cashel v Ballincollig,Cashel,2,30;
Junior 2 Cup South:Tralee v U.C.C.,Tralee,3.00;
Dave Dineen Cup:Crosshaven v Carrigaline,Crosshaven,12.30;
Old Christians v Castleisland,Rathcooney,2.30;
Mick Barry Cup Semi Final:Skibbereen v Bantry Bay,Skibbereen,12.30;
Junior 3 Cup South Semi Finals:Ballincolig v U.C.C.,Tanner Park,12.00;
Kinsale v Mallow,Kinsale,12.00;
Tait Cup Semi Finals:Fermoy v Listowel,Fermoy,3.00;
East Under 18 Cup Semi Final:Cashel v Nenagh Ormond,Cashel,11.00;
East Under 16 Plate Final:Thurles v Clonmel,Clanwilliam Park,11.00;
East Under 14 League Section A:Clanwilliam v Kilfeacle,Clanwilliam Park,11.00;
Fethard v Waterpark,Fethard,11.00;
Thurles v Carrick-on-Suir,Thurles,11.00;
Section B:Cashel v Galbally,Cashel,11.00;
Dungarvan v Roscrea,Dungarvan,12.00;
Nenagh Ormond v Clonmel,Nenagh,11.00;
South Under 18 Development Cup:Clonakilty v Mitchelstown,The Vale,12.00;
North Under 18 League Final:Ennis v Shannon,Jim Slattery Park,12.15;
North Under 18 Cup:U.L. Bohemian v Bruff,Annacotty,11.30;
North Under 16 Cup:Bruff v St. Mary’s,Bruff,11.30;
Kilrush v Old Crescent,Kilrush,11.30;
St. Senan’s v U.L. Bohemian,Jim Slattery Park,11.00;
Thomond v Garryowen,Fitzgerald Park,12.15;
North Under 16 McCarthy Cup:Young Munster v Richmond ,Clifford Park,11.30;
North Under 13 Cup:Garryowen v Richmond,Dooradoyle,11.30;
Thomond v Bruff,Fitzgerald Park,11.00;
Young Munster v Ennis,Derryknockane,11.00;
Under 18 Friendly:Garryowen v Old Crescent,Dooradoyle,11.30;
Women’s All Ireland League Division 1:Highfield v U.L. Bohemian,Woodleigh Park,1.30;
Waterpark v Blackrock,Ballinakill,2,00;
TUESDAY 31st MARCH
Munster Junior Cup Semi Final:U.C.C. v Garryowen,Musgrave Park,20.00;
King Cup Semi Final:Charleville CBS v St. Augustine’s,Charleville,12.30;
North Under 14 League:Old Crescent v Garryowen,Rosbrien,6.30;
South Under 16 Cup:Kinsale v Youghal,Kinsale,6.00;
WEDNESDAY 1st APRIL
Giles Shield Final:Midleton College v S.M.I.,Fermoy,2.30;
Under 17: South Munster v East Munster,CIT,8.00;