Leinster Previews

Suttonians

Leinster Division 1a

Over the course of seven days the destination of the 2014/15 league title will be decided as Dundalk and Enniscorthy bid to make some history for their respective clubs.

This weekend’s penultimate round of fixtures see both teams at home, Dundalk (53 points) hold a slender enough three point advantage over Enniscorthy (50 points) and the sides meet in Ross Road on the final day in what could prove to be a nail biting title decider.

In all likelihood, Enniscorthy will hold the advantage in the event of a tie on points after the final two rounds so, for example, if both sides win at the weekend and the gap remains the same, a simple one point win will be enough for the Wexford men on the final day as they will have more wins than Dundalk.

Clondalkin 22, Gorey 15

Clondalkin Gorey

Clondalkin 22
Gorey 15

Alan Deegan at Gordon Park

The Gorey team, management and the multitude of vociferous support are probably still trying to figure out how they are not in the Quarter Final of the Provincial Towns Cup. They dominated a good 80% of territory and probably even more possession at Gordon Park on Sunday, but were blown away in the final five minutes by storming finish by Clondalkin.

With a capricious wind at their back, the visitors started the match in whirlwind fashion. They were a try to the good after 5 minutes when the lively Brendon Spears ran a sumptuous line from fullback to cut through the Clondalkin defense to score.

Out-half Shane Luby was keeping his rampaging pack on the front foot with some assiduous kicking to the corners, and the pressure led to a couple of kick-able penalty opportunities. However a combination of slippery underfoot conditions and the erratic gusts of winds saw the scoring chances go a begging.

Ulster Update

Ballyclare Cooke

Ulster Qualifying League 1

The result of the day on Saturday came in Ballyclare where the home side boosted their All Ireland Cup qualification hopes with a huge home win against league leaders Intonians.

It was a first league defeat of the season for the Belfast side who lost for the first time in all competitions in the McCrea Cup a week earlier and the result has just slightly opened the door for reigning champions Clogher Valley as a result.

The Fivemiletown side took advantage of the slip up by the leaders with a big home win over CIYMS and with Instonians visiting the Cran on the final day of the season, if Clogher can keep pace with the Belfast side until that point we might have an unexpected grandstand finish in Ulster.

Munster Round Up

Newcastle West

Munster Junior League Division 1

The postponement of Clonmel’s home tie with Cobh means the league title race rumbles on for another week. Newcastle West came from behind to beat Muskerry on Sunday moving within a point of the league leaders while St Senan’s are now firmly in third after a scrappy but vital win at Clonakilty.

The win for Newcastle West keeps the title race alive but they have just the one game remaining while Clonmel have two left. Denis Leamy and co now know that a bonus point win in the re-fixed Cobh home tie will secure a first ever league title.

Towns Cup Update

Ashbourne Enniscorthy

Towns Cup title favourites Dundalk and Enniscorthy marched on to the last eight of the competition with impressive home wins in their second round ties on a day of plenty of drama across the province.

The result of the day might well have been in Longford where the beaten finalists of 2012 and 2013 clashed and visitors Tullow emerged with another impressive Cup win. This time on a scoreline of 15-8 setting up a rematch of that 2012 final where they will host Enniscorthy in the March 22 quarter final tie.

In Ross Road, Enniscorthy toppled title holders Ashbourne 25-14 in a high octane tussle at the Wexford venue. The 2012 champions are in great form a looking for a league and cup double at the moment, the visitors battled back well after half time but couldn’t overhaul an early deficit.

Caption: Action from Enniscorthy’s home win over Ashbourne on Sunday. Pic: Eugene Kehoe

Our feature game on Sunday was in west Dublin where Clondalkin reached the last eight for the first time with a thrilling final quarter revival to oust a spirited Gorey side. The 22-15 scoreline doesn’t even begin to tell the tale of a dramatic game. Full report to follow.

Weather Disrupts Final Day

Ball

Connacht Division 1b

The drama was of the unexpected variety across the province on Sunday afternoon as after combination of two postponements and a shock result the league title and relegation issues remain unresolved.

UPDATE: The score in Monivea v Ballinasloe was wrong in first version of this report (20-24 instead of correct score of 20-22). This was down to a very typical scenario (for Connacht leagues this season) of clubs involved not submitting results to the branch website and conflicting reports arising as a result. The change of scoreline slightly alters the scenarios facing Connemara, outlined below.

In short, Monivea are one point clear at the top of the table after a home defeat to Ballinasloe yesterday where they notched two bonus points in what was their final league game of the season. Connemara have a re-fix to play in Ballina (date TBC) and they now know their target. A win or a draw will secure them the league title but a defeat, even by a single point, will see Monivea crowned champions as they lead in the try scoring statistics.

Connemara started the day with a one point advantage in the standings but their game in north Mayo was called off a half hour before kick off in Heffernan Park Ballina due to the heavy rain. Meanwhile in the Castle Grounds, the other key game in the title race went ahead and it turned out to be a thrilling contest as Ballinasloe upset the odds.

UBL Results Round Up

Kanturks Matt Gandy tackeled  by Greystones Alan Dempsey and Killian Marmion, behind them Kanturks Keelan Buckley and in UBL Div  2B Game Greystones RFC v Kanturk RFC at Dr Hickley Park - Greystones. Picture: Janusz Trzesicki

UBL Results Round Up

UBL Division 1a
Clontarf 16, Terenure College 11
Dolphin 13, Old Belvedere 3
St Mary’s 32, Ballynahinch 25
UCD 38, Lansdowne 31
Young Munster 3, Cork Con 6

UBL Division 1b
Ballymena 17, Galwegians 25
Belfast Harlequins 31, Shannon 13
Dublin University 23, Garryowen 24
UL Bohemian 16, Malone 6
Corinthians 14, Buccaneers 17 (played Friday)

UBL 1a & 1b Team News

Pic Seapoint Twitter

Ulster Bank League Division 1A

Castle Avenue:  Clontarf          v          Terenure College

Clontarf: 1. Ian Hirst, 2. Turlough Considine, 3. Royce Burke-Flynn, 4. Ben Reilly, 5. Conor O’Keeffe, 6. Tom Byrne, 7. Karl Moran, 8. Anthony Ryan, 9. Sam Cronin (Capt), 10. David Joyce, 11. Arial Robles, 12. Matt D’arcy, 13. Colm O’Shea, 14. Rob McGrath, 15. Evan Ryan SUBS: 16. Rory Litchfield, 17. Liam Og Murphy. 18. Ivan Soroka, 19.  Mark Sutton, 20. Rob Keogh

Terenure College: 1. Gary Hamilton, 2. Robbie Smyth, 3. Conor McCormack , 4. Fergal Walsh, 5.John Dever, 6. Robert Duke , 7. James O’Neill (Capt), 8. Kyle McCoy, 9.Kevin O’Neill, 10. Mark O’Neill, 11. Harry Moore, 12. Harrison Brewer , 13. Stephen O’Neill, 14. James O’Donoghue, 15. Ian Hanley SUBS: 16. Kevin Buckley, 17. Rory Harrison, 18. Kevin O’Dwyer, 19. James Thornton, 20. Shane Donovan, 21. Jake Swaine, 22.Ciaran Quigley

UBL Saturday Essential Guide

Ballymena Galwegians

UBL Division 1a

All today’s team news

There are five rounds remaining in the top Division and more to play for than ever before. The Top four will reached the league title play offs, the bottom side will be relegated while second from bottom means a relegation play off.

In terms of the top four, Lansdowne (50 points) are nailed on with a 20 point buffer between them and fourth after eleven wins from 13. Terenure College (43 points) are back on track after a wobble but they have work to do and travel to third place Clontarf (36 points) today. The Castle Avenue side need to win to keep the chasing pack at bay.

The battle for the fourth spot might be intense. Cork Constitution (32 points) hold it with a two point advantage over Ballynahinch (30 points). Con travel to Limerick today to face Young Munster (25 points). The Cookies are just a couple of points above the relegation play off. Ballynainch travel to St Mary’s (23 points) who sit in that ninth spot.

Title Showdown in Connacht

Connacht Junior League

A day of high drama is in the offing in Connacht this Sunday, almost guaranteed in fact, as Connemara and Monivea battle it out for the league title with the two defining games at the Castle Grounds in Monivea and Heffernan Park in Ballina.

Just one point separates the top two, last Sunday, in the Junior Cup, Monivea beat Connemara in their third meeting of the season coming from behind to win 16-8 and make up for the two league defeats that could yet prove pivotal.

Connemara have the one point advantage at the top, Monivea’s superb ability to garner bonus points is keeping them in the hunt despite the narrow losses in the big games.

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