UBL Weekend Guide

Ballyclare

Ulster Bank League Weekend Guide

Division 1a

What’s the story? Terenure the last unbeaten side and they lead the league by four. Lansdwone and Clontarf are next with three wins from four and they all seem to be good bets for a play off spot at this early stage.

A long long way to go of course and you wouldn’t bet against any other side getting in there with the exception of Dolphin who will do well to recover from a very bad start.

This week’s big game? No question it is at Lakelands where the mighty Terenure College will look to continue their mesmerising winning run that stretches back to before last season as they host Clontarf.

Ulster Predictions

Ballyclare Cooke

Ulster Weekend Previews (All Saturday 2:30)

Busy weekend of league action in Ulster across four divisions. Here’s how we see it all panning out.

Qualifying 1

A big weekend int he top tier. The top two clash at Shawsbridge with Instonians expected to continue their march towards the title but Ballyclare eyeing a big upset. Clogher Valley are joint second but visit fifth place CIYMS who are three points behind them with a game in hand.

For more on the key games in Bangor, CIYMS and Instonians home grounds, check out this.

10 Must See Provincial Games

Carlow Vs Tullow 9th Oct 2011 (4)-1

Ten  Must See Provincial Games

We’ve picked out ten must see games from this weekend’s action in the four provincial junior leagues that should appeal to the neutrals.

In Leinster
….

Co Carlow v Tullow, Division 2b, Sunday 2:30

This is settling down into a long term dual now. When these two sides met three seasons ago it was a novel and eye catching fixture after years apart. County Carlow had risen the ranks of the AIL to the very top, Tullow had toiled away in the junior leagues flirting with the top division and cup success but nothing more.

By 2010 all was changed, Carlow were hurtling down the divisions and Tullow were on the rise, yet their first meeting at Black Gates was very much a case of Carlow asserting their superiority. The derbies galvanized the Oak Park side that season and they had their first year of stability in quite a while.

All Ireland Cup QF Draw

Connemara v St Marys

The draw has taken place on Thursday for the quarter finals of the All Ireland Junior Cup which takes place on Saturday November 22nd at 2:30.

Reigning champions Enniscorthy have been handed a very difficult away tie against Bangor who will be playing at home for the first time after winning in Clonmel in round one.

At the Cran, Clogher Valley are at home again and hosting a Connemara side with plenty of expierence of away days in Ulster from their AIL days as a club.

All Ireland Junior Cup in Detail

Bangor Clonmel

Ulster Bank All Ireland Junior Cup Round 1

Clonmel 15 Bangor 21, Ardgaoithe

Clonmel Scorers: Alex Sheehan 1 try; Conor Cooney 1 pen, 1 con
Bangor Scorers: Curtis Stewart 2 tries; Mike Weir 1 try; Mark Widowson 3 con.

The result of round one came from Bangor on Saturday as they continued their remarkable surge in form with another heroic display against the odds.

The Munster Junior Cup holders and unbeaten Clonmel fell as Clogher Valley and Portadown before them on Saturday with this result announcing the blue and yellow hooped clan as Cup contenders.

The Ulster side spent two days in south Tipperary and were treated to a great welcome from the Clonmel club, they looked to have come up short after a brilliant and tense cup tie had edged towards Denis Leamy’s side in the second half but a converted try deep into a protracted period of injury time sealed a dramatic finale. 

Connemara 29, St Mary’s 27

All Ireland Junior Cup R1: Connemara 29, St Mary's 27.

All Ireland Junior Cup
Connemara 29
St. Mary’s 27

Alan Deegan Monastery Field

What makes a great cup tie? How about this for a list of some of the important elements.

An end to end match full of ebbs and flows in momentum punctuated by a variety of great scores, an away side undaunted by the challenges of falling 13 points behind, a home side in tune with and making the best of, the elements at their unique home field and a finale that includes a last gasp try and conversion attempt that could have sent us to extra time.

It was all here and that was only the half of it.

It all culminated with couple of hundred pairs of eyes totally intent on following the flight of the ball as the conversion sailed towards the post, before an audible collective sigh of relief for those supporting Connemara, as the kick eventually drifted wide.

This was quite simply a wonderful contest dished up by the best club players in Connemara and St. Mary’s of Limerick at a windswept Monastery Field (as if the spectacular haven of rugby on the edge of Europe is ever any other way) in the All Ireland Junior Cup first round on Saturday.

Cup Draw on Thursday

The Bangor team after Saturday's 21-15 win over Clonmel.

The eight quarter finalists in the Ulster Bank All Ireland Junior Cup will be waiting with anticipation this week to find out who they will be playing on Saturday November 22.

The draw will take place at 11am this coming Thursday at IRFU HQ and will be released immediately afterwards. We’ll have it on twitter and then on the site.

The eight teams awaiting news are Bangor, CIYMS, Clogher Valley, Connemara, Coolmine, Dundalk, Enniscorthy and Newcastle West. Three from Ulster and Leisnter and one each from Munster and Connacht.

On Saturday Bangor caused the biggest upset and secured one of only two away wins in the first round games by defeating Munster Junior Cup holders Clonmel 21-15 thanks to a try deep into second half injury time.

Caption: The Bangor team celebrate on full time in Clonmel on Saturday: Pic: Roger Corbett Bangor RFC

All Ireland Cup Reveiw

Clogher Valley Clondalkin

There are a lot of highlights from Saturday’s action in the All Ireland Junior Cup but lets keep it simple and underline what we know for sure, before a more in depth review later in the weekend.

Dundalk, CIYMS, Newcastle West recorded the most comprehensive victories of round one on Saturday, dispatching their opponents while running up fairly signfiicant scorelines. All three will glean confidence from the results but sound cautious notes on what lies.

The barnstorming nail biting games were plentiful, with Connemara, Bangor, Coolmine and Clogher Valley all winning tight one-score contests. Deciding on which was the most dramatic of the four could prove very challenging.

Dundalk v Cobh Pirates

Pic taken by Ciaran Culligan,

All Ireland Junior Cup Round 8

Dundalk v Cobh Pirates, Mill Road (Saturday 2:30)

Scene Set

The unbeaten league leaders in Leinster host a Cobh Pirates side that made great progress last year but have failed to spark this season. The time seems right for Dundalk to make a big impact in this competition, there should be a good crowd in Louth on Saturday.

Monivea v Coolmine

Monivea

All Ireland Junior Cup Round 1

Monivea v Coolmine, Castle Grounds (Saturday 2:30)

Scene Set

Again the fanfare might not be as predominant in this fixture, no team has more experience of out of province rugby (between the All Ireland Cup and Round Robin qualifiers) than Monivea. Coolmine are well used to All Ireland Cup action now in year four but this is their first trip to Connacht for a competitive fixture.

Competition History

Monivea: The all time record holders for appearences in this competition, they have missed just one season of All Ireland Cup rugby since it started and reached back to back finals in 2011 and 12 losing to Crosshaven and Tullamore.

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