Weekend Preview | Senior And Junior Rugby
3rd March 2022 By Leonard Allen
There are four rounds of games remaining in the Men’s All Ireland League, starting this weekend while there is also action in the Women’s All Ireland League Cup.
The top four teams in Division 1A will contest semi-finals to determine the destination of the League title. The top four in each of the other four divisions will also qualify for promotion play-off semi-finals, with the finalists promoted.
The bottom two sides in each division will play each other home and away in relegation play-offs.
UL Bohemian and Nenagh Ormond get proceedings underway with their basement clash in Division 2A under lights at the UL Arena on Friday evening. The Limerick side have slipped to eighth despite winning their last game 17-14 at home against Buccaneers. The North Tipperary side are ninth and put up 38 points without replay against bottom side Rainey Old Boys last time out at New Ormond Park. Nenagh Ormond ran out 22-11 home winners in October’s corresponding fixture.
On Saturday in Division 1A, Cork Constitution, who are fourth, travel to the Capital to take on sixth-placed Dublin University at College Park. The Lilywhites are looking to maintain their challenge for a top four finish following their valuable 31-0 home win over Garryowen, from which they claimed maximum points. The Dublin Students go into the tie on the back of a 36-15 defeat by Terenure College at Lakelands Park. October’s corresponding fixture was Cork Constitution’s first win of the campaign where they ran out 32-13 bonus point winners at Temple Hill.
Fifth-placed Young Munster, who recorded 12-7 home win over UCC last time out following three successive defeats, face a tough assignment as they welcome second-placed Lansdowne to Tom Clifford Park. The Limerick wide will be looking to make the most of home advantage count in a bid to avenge their recent Bateman Cup final defeat by Lansdowne, who go into the tie on the back of a 23-14 defeat by leaders Clontarf at the Aviva Stadium. Young Munster ran out 24-20 winners when these sides met in Dublin in October.
Seventh-placed Garryowen, who have endured a poor run of three successive defeats, including their last game against Cork Constitution at Temple Hill, entertain struggling Ballynahinch at Dooradoyle. The County Down side were defeated 27-19 by UCD at Belfield last time out, while Garryowen won October’s corresponding fixture 27-22, from which the Ulster side claimed a losing bonus point.
UCC, who are propping up the table, lock horns with eighth-placed UCD in a basement clash at the Mardyke that also marks their Colours game. The Leeside Students were defeated 12-7 by Young Munster in Limerick but returned with a losing bonus point, while UCD go into the tie on the back of a 27-19 away win over Ballynahinch. The Dublin Students claimed all points on offer in a high-scoring contest at Belfield, which they won 41-33 in October. UCC earned a bonus point as they scored four tries.
Highfield, who are second in Division 1B go head to head with Malone, who are hovering above the drop zone at Woodleigh Park. The Leesiders go into the tie on the back of a narrow 22-20 home win over Old Belvedere, while the Belfast side claimed a losing bonus point from their 34-29 defeat by Old Wesley at Gibson Park. Highfield won October’s meeting in Belfast 22-17, resulting in a losing bonus point for Malone.
Shannon, who have climbed into the top four following their 25-18 away win over St Mary’s College, are in Dublin for the second successive weekend, as they take on Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park. The Dublin side claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow 22-20 defeat by Highfield on Leeside, while Shannon ran out 32-10 winners, when these sides met at Thomond Park in October.
Cashel, who are second in Division 2A, travel to County Derry to take on bottom side Rainey Old Boys in Magherafelt. The Tipperary side ran out 18-10 home winners over leaders Queen’s University last time out, which was their second win over the Belfast Students. Rainey Old Boys were defeated 38-0 by Nenagh Ormond in North Tipperary last time out.
Dolphin, who recorded a welcome 29-12 maximum point victory over Old Crescent at Musgrave Park last time out, following a recent poor run, face a tricky task as they make the long trip to County Antrim to take on fourth-placed Ballymena at Eaton Park. The County Antrim side go into the tie on the back of a 31-19 away defeat by MU Barnhall, while they won October’s corresponding fixture 26-20, giving Dolphin a losing bonus point.
Old Crescent have slipped to sixth place following their 29-12 defeat by Dolphin on Leeside and they travel to Athlone to take on third-placed Buccaneers, who claimed a losing bonus point from a narrow 17-14 away defeat by UL Bohemian. The Athlone side ran out 34-20 winners in October’s corresponding fixture at Takumi Park.
Bruff and Midleton go head to head in a mid-table clash at Kilballyowen Park in Division 2C. The East Cork side have climbed up to fifth, following their 14-0 home win over Clonmel and they won October’s corresponding fixture 28-15. Bruff were defeated 31-24 by City of Derry on Foyleside and they returned home with a losing bonus point.
Clonmel have slipped back into the drop zone following their 14-0 away defeat by Midleton and they travel to North County Dublin to take on second-placed Skerries, by whom they were defeated 24-0 in South Tipperary. Skerries were defeated 27-15 by leaders Enniscorthy in their top of the table clash in County Wexford.
Sunday’s Well have returned to the foot of the table following their 29-14 defeat by Tullamore in the Faithful County, which came on the back of successive home victories over Skerries and Enniscorthy. They welcome Omagh Academicals, who were defeated 22-15 by Bangor at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields, to Musgrave Park. The County Tyrone side recorded a comprehensive 43-8 victory when these sides met in October.
Proceedings continue in the Women’s All Ireland Cup, with three Munster sides in action.
Ballincollig welcome Cooke to Tanner Park and Kerry take on Malone in Belfast.
UL Bohemian entertain Wicklow at the UL Arena.
There is a full programme of games in the Munster Junior League this weekend.
On Saturday in Section A, fourth-placed Kilfeacle lock horns with Waterpark in West Tipperary. Kilfeacle ran out 21-10 home winners in their last League game against Old Christians, while the Suirsiders will be looking to finish in the top four and a place in next season’s All Ireland Junior Cup.
Crosshaven, who are joint third with Abbeyfeale in Section B, face a tricky task as they take on leaders Clanwilliam at Myrtleville Cross. The Seasiders recorded a 17-3 home win over St Senan’s last time out, while the Tipperary Town side were narrowly defeated 16-15 by Mallow at Musgrave Park and claimed a losing bonus point. A win for the visitors will see them win the section.
Castleisland, who are unbeaten in Conference E are away to Bantry Bay, who will be looking to make the most of home advantage count in a bid to maintain their outside challenge for a higher ranking. The Kingdom side go into the tie on the back of a 14-6 home win over Douglas, while Bantry Bay returned home with five points from their meeting with Chorca Dhuibhne in the West Kerry Gaeltacht in November.
On Sunday, the game of the day is the top of the table clash of Newcastle West and Bandon in West Limerick in Section A. A win for Bandon will see them crowned champions for the third time, with their previous triumphs in 1993 and 2018. The West Limerick side will be looking to make the most of home advantage count, where a win could see them overtake the West Cork side in pole position.
Thomond welcome Muskerry to Liam Fitzgerald Park and the Limerick side will be looking to maintain their challenge for a top four finish as they are one point behind Kilfeacle in fifth place. The Limerick side go into the tie on the back of a 6-3 home defeat by Bandon, while the Sky Blues claimed two bonus points from their 36-32 home defeat by Kilfeacle, in which they scored four tries.
Richmond go head to head with Old Christians with the points not having a say I the final shake up.
In Section B, second-placed Mallow entertain struggling St Senan’s at the North Cork venue. Mallow defeated Clanwilliam 16-15 at Musgrave Park last time out while the Clare side, who are propping up the table with Galbally, were defeated 17-3 by Crosshaven in South Cork.
Skibbereen face a tricky task as they welcome Abbeyfeale to the Carbery Showgrounds. The West Cork side go into the tie on the back of a 7-3 home defeat by Galbally from which they claimed a losing bonus point. Abbeyfeale are joint third with Crosshaven and they were defeated by Mallow in North Cork last time out.
Clonakilty, who were defeated 12-6 by St Senan’s in the Banner County and returned home with a losing bonus point, are at home to Galbally.
Unbeaten Section C leaders Kanturk travel to Limerick to take on third-placed St Mary’s at Grove Island. The Duhallow side ran out 17-8 home winners over Ballincollig in their last League game in early December. St Mary’s are third on 11 points and they will be looking to make the most of home advantage in a bid to maintain their challenge for a higher ranking. The Limerick side recorded a narrow 19-17 home win over Charleville in their last League game in January.
Second-placed Thurles welcome fourth-placed Charleville to the Premier County, with three points separating these sides. Charleville claimed a losing bonus point from their narrow defeat by St Mary’s, while Thurles recorded a comprehensive 45-5 away win over Fethard, from which they claimed maximum points in November.
Fermoy and Ballincollig who are joint seventh on three points apiece are away to fifth-placed Dungarvan and sixth-placed Fethard, respectively.
In Section D, new leaders Ennis travel to East Cork to take on Cobh Pirates, who share fourth place with Kinsale. The Pirates claimed maximum points from their 27-0 home win over Scariff.
Third-placed Killorglin, who ran out 27-3 home winners over Ennis in early February and finished with five points, welcome Mitchelstown, who were defeated 47-20 by Kinsale in South Cork in mid-January.
Kinsale entertain Waterford City, who returned home with a bonus point from their 8-3 defeat by Tralee in the Kingdom.
Second-placed Tralee are at home to Scariff.
In Conference E, Youghal and Chorca Dhuibhne go head to head at Musgrave Park in a unique game with double points on offer. The West Kerry Gaeltacht side are still on zero points, while a maximum point win would be a welcome boost for Youghal’s aspirations of playing for a higher ranking.
Second-placed Killarney are at home to Douglas. Killarney defeated Chorca Dhuibhne 36-26 and claimed all points on offer in East Kerry at the start of December, while Douglas were defeated 14-6 by Castleisland in the Kingdom.
There are two games in the Women’s Division 2 Cup.
Skibbereen take on Dolphin at the Carbery Showgrounds and Waterpark are at home to Ballincollig.