Ballyclare Start Well


Ulster Qualifying League Round 1

- Thoughts and Observations.

The Ulster Qualyfing league season has begun with four games taking place on Saturday. Here’s our take on the results which saw Instonians, Ballyclare, Clogher Valley and Dromore all make an early season statement with impressive performances.

Bangor 6, Ballyclare 16
Ballymoney 0, Clogher Valley 38
Insontinans 29, Portadown 3
Dromore 25, Cooke 13
Donaghadee v CIYMS – Posponed.

The upset of the day came at Bangor where Ballyclare’s win wasn’t a complete shock in itself but the manner of the victory and the fact that they denied their hosts even a losing bonus point probably stands out.

Caption: Action from Saturday’s season opener in Bangor where the home side lost to newly promoted Ballyclare. Pic: Bangor RFC website.

Ulster Junior Season Preview

Clogher Valley

Ulster Qualifying League Season Preview

A guide to the ten teams who will look to be crowned Ulster Qualifying League Champions in the 2014/15 season.

The League kicks off on Saturday with some facinating encounters instore. None more so than the clash of just relegated Instonians and always contending Portadown.

Caption: Clogher Valley celebrated a double success last year winning the league and the Towns Cup.

Team by Team


Have no doubt that Ballyclare have been as good as most sides in the top flight over the last three seasons. They shared the Towns Cup title in 2013 and were runners up in the Junior Cup last year. Chris Campbell and Darren Best take the coaching reigns. Davy Chambers is a great signing at eight. Gary Clotworthy is a loss but his rise to senior rugby was inevitable. They won’t win the league this year but they’ll beat some of the challengers. All Ireland Junior Ranking 13/14: 21st
First game: A cracker away to Bangor

Leinster Weekend Junior Preview

Newbridge Clondalkin

The regional league action continued on Wednesday with Mullingar from Division 2a getting the better of Longford from Division 1b 26-13 in a game that marked the start of the competitive season for both clubs.

On Sunday, there is action in the Hosie Cup, South East League and the Midland Leagues.

In the Hosie Cup on Saturday at 6:3o in Rosetown, Newbridge host a Clondalkin side that eased by Cill Dara in round one and are now favourites to top Section A. In Section B of the Hosie Cup, North Kildare host Athy.

UPDATE: Portarlington kicked off their Hosie Cup campaign earlier this week with a 10-3 win over Cill Dara.

The New Season on


Hi folks, Rob Murphy here, creator and editor of

The new season is upon us and will be looking to keep track of all the big stories and events in club rugby across the country over the next ten months.

The first port of call though is to update you on what has been going on behind the scenes during the summer months.

A lot of the focus this summer was on the business model side of things as we pursued some promising leads on sponsorships and investments with a view towards making the site a self sustaining and revenue generating news hub. That process is on going.

So the season kicks off with still in position as the leading website on grassroots rugby in Ireland but very much returning to its original state as a non funded venture. That means a slight change from last season where we attempted to build a user driven revenue model through yearly subscriptions.

Leinster Junior Update

Birr Roscrea

The Junior rugby season has started in Leinster with regional league action across three districts taking place over the weekend.

Every result has some sort of early season news angle to it without reading too much into it all. Clondalkin scored freely against Cill Dara in the Hosie Cup for a much larger than expected win against their fellow Division 1a opponents.

In the Midlands, Roscrea got the better of local rivals Birr with two penalties proving the difference while Midland Warriors put up a battling display before going down to Edenderry.

Caption: action from Roscrea’s 11-5 victory away to Birr on Sunday in the opening round of the Midland’s League. Pic: Birr RFC Facebook. 

Connacht Senior Update

Galwegians Buccaneers

The Connacht Senior league has started, The stand out game so far came on Saturday in Round 2 at Crowley Park where newly promoted Galwegians got the better of Buccaneers in a gripping contest.

Buccaneers beat Corinthians in round one while Galwgeians recieived a walkover against Sligo. The other game in round two last weekend saw Corinthians ease to victory against Sligo.

The league concludes with round 3 next weekend, Galwegians seem set for a walkover from their fixture with Sligo so a win over Corinthians will give them the title. The clubs will then compete in the Senior Cup as preparation for what should be a gripping AIL season continues.

All three Connacht clubs will compete in Division 1b next season and the six derbies will make for some great club weekends out west.

Leinster Senior Update

Terenure College

The early season cup action has begun in Leinster for AIL clubs and their J1 squads.

The Senior League Cup results went to plan with with Division 1a sides Lansdowne, Old Belvedere, St Mary’s, UCD and Terenure College all winning on Saturday. NUIM Barnhall’s battling effort at Belfield stood out among the defeated sides.

Meanwhile in the Shield competition, Wanderers travelled to Naas and won 29-14 in their first game back as a senior club after winning the Leinster Junior League and the All Ireland League qualifiers last season. Certainly an early season statement of intent.

Connacht 1a Fixtures

Ballinasloe Corinthians

Connacht Division 1a Fixtures 14/15

The new Connacht season will kick off with some fascinating encounters on September 7th. The clash of last year’s runners up OLBC and 2013 champions Monivea at the Sportsground might well be the highlight.

Reigning league champions Corinthians have a fairly ideal start for early September with an away fixture against fellow AIL side Galwegians at Crowley. Both clubs would prepfer to face each other as early September is a time when they are not at full strength with the AIL yet to start.

The clash of Junior Cup runners up Westport and Cawley Cup champions Connemara in Carrowholly will be another gripping encounter, as the west coast derby continues its rebirth while last year’s surprise package Ballinasloe begin their campaign away to Ballina.

Leinster Fixtures

Wanderers celebrate

Leinster League Division 1a 2014/15

The opening day of the new Leinster league season is no doubt eagerly anticipated in the clubhouses of all eight Division 1a at the moment. The 2014/15 campaign has the potential to be the most competitive and hard to predict title race in over a decade.

Yet another league champion went on to gain promotion to the All Ireland League last season, Wanderers following in the footsteps of Tullamore (2013), Skerries (2012), Boyne (2011), Seapoint (2010), Navan (2009) and Naas (2007) by returning to the senior ranks.

All told, seven of the last eight league winners have managed to turn League title success into promotion to the Ulster Bank League via the qualifiers with only 2008 league winners Cill Dara missing out on such a path. They are one of the teams to watch for this years title.

Club Rankings 11th -15th

Ashbourne Roscrea

Ireland’s Top 30 Provincial League Clubs (11-15)

Part 3 of our top 30 rankings, teams ranked 11th to 15th.

Rankings are based on performances in Round Robin Qualifiers, provincial leagues, All Ireland Cup and provincial cup competitions.

The relative strength of each of the four leagues was judged on results in qualifiers and the All Ireland Cup over the last three seasons.

The Rankings

Part 1: Rankings 1 to 5 (click here)
Part 2: Rankings 6-10 (click here)

11. Newcastle West

Key stat
* They won three of their nine league games by a margin of a single point.

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