Leinster Wrap

The weekend action in Leinster saw the conclusion of the Leinster Shield Group stages with Greystones, Navan and Skerries all showing their prowess and securing solid victories.
The Metro League’s are up and running too, well Division 1 is anyhow and the early signs are that Lansdowne and Old Belvedere are showing good strenght in depth for their senior squads with impressive bonus point wins secured.

The upset of the round saw NUIM Barnhall topple Clontarf.

The Hosie Cup action had plenty of tries at the weekend. Portarlington pipped Newbridge in a thrilling encounter 35-32 while North Kildare showed some good early season form winning 32-17 in Portlaoise.

Munster Results

The Munster season continues to build slowly towards league action with regional cup action continuing this weekend.Castleisland one the Tipperary derby and Skibbereen were in fine form.

Mc Elligott Cup
Tralee 10, Castleisland 11;

Cork County Cup
Skibbereen 20, Muskerry 3;

Connacht Results

The weekend of rugby in Connacht was once again a revelaing on as Corinthians, Connemara and Monivea all delivered bonus point wins on Sunday and are now firmly in the category of title contenders in Divison 1a.

Ballinasloe have their first win after a narrow 11-9 win over Westport, Galwegians and OLBC remain bottom without a point.

Connacht Previews

Credit Conor McKeown

Connacht Junior League Division 1a Sunday (2:30 unless stated):

Ballinasloe v Westport

Even at this very early stage of the season, this one has an important feel to it with both sides coming into the weekend without a win. Westport failed to garner even a point from their opening home tie with Connemara, Ballinasloe were piped in the last minute in Ballina. The form line suggests a narrow home win off the back of a solid forward effort.

home by 2

Connemara v Galwegians

A cracking game of rugby in store here as Connemara look to build some early season momentum against a young sky blues team that didn’t exactly do themselves justice last weekend. If Connemara are going to challenge for a top three spot, they need a strong home record and games like this against senior clubs early in the season. A high scoring battle is likely, with little between them at full time.

UBL 1a Season Preview

Terenure College

Ulster Bank League Division 1a – Preview

The new Ulster Bank League season kicks off this weekend with end of season play offs and a final set for the Aviva Stadium all on the agenda. Here’s our guide to what you need to know about the ten teams in Division 1a and a quick look at this weekend’s five games.

Team by Team

Ballynahinch

Finished ninth last season, avoiding the play offs with a remarkable late season run. Having lost nine of their first eleven games, they managed to pick up three key wins down the stretch to hold onto top flight status.

New AIL Structures: Pros & Cons

Clontarf

The Ulster Bank All Ireland League is in for some pretty radical changes in the 2015/16 season according to some reports.

We await full confirmation on the exact details but in the meantime and to fill the void since Monday’s league launch we thought we’d give you:

1. Our thoughts on what is being proposed

2. The Changes we would like to see to the structures.

Part 1 – The new structures as they have been reported

The plan to restructure the leagues into five divisions of ten teams is going to have a pretty dramatic impact on at least 36 clubs in the next 12 months and many more in subsequent years.

According to Tuesday’s Irish Times article, the league will be reduced to 50 teams at the start of next season (2015/16)  to accommodate a new five tier structure (calling the new fifth tier Division 2c rather than the far more logical Division 5.)

Connacht Review

OLBC Monivea

You can tell a lot from an opening weekend in most leagues and Connacht is no different. While our preview underlined the unpredictability in the division heading into the campaign, just one weekend of action has helped us make a bit more sense of things.

Results
Connacht Junior League Division 1a

Westport 3, Connemara 14
Ballina 22, Ballinasloe 21
Galwegians 14, Corinthians 35
OLBC 11, Monivea 33

First off, Corinthians look impressive. Based on the talent they have recruited, the emerging young players that are still there from last year and a clear focus on pushing the senior squad, their Junior squad look like an unstoppable force as far as the league title is concerned after their opening day bonus point win at Galwegians.

Instonians Start Well

Instonians

Ulster Qualyfing League – Column

It is very early stages of course but after just two rounds of an 18 round campaign, Instonians already look like the team to beat in the Qualyfing League and a serious force on the Junior landscape.

The reigning champions Clogher Valley are right there with them after Saturday’s action. They followed up an opening day bonus point win in Ballymoney with another big win, this time at home to Donaghdee.

Results from Saturday
Ballyclare 25, Dromore 23
Bangor 7, Instonians 27
Clogher Valley 41, Donaghadee 10
Cooke 6, CIYMS 24
Portaodwn 43, Ballymoney 10

Connacht Weekend Previews

Ballyhaunis Creggs

Connacht Junior Division 1a

Ballina v Ballinasloe,

The north Mayo side are always a fairly safe bet to win at home but this could be an early season scare all the same as Ballinasloe are looking to really kick on in this campaign.

Draw

Galwegians v Corinthians,

Neither of these sides will be at full strength but the importance of the the four points won’t be lost on the two sides most likely to win the league title.

Home by 3

Ulster Previews

Instonians

Ulster Qualyfing League 1 Round 2

All you need to know

The game of the weekend should be in Upritchard Park as two old foes from the Ulster Senior leagues and early AIL days clash with hosts Bangor needing to bounce back and Instonians looking to keep the pressure on but there are a few big games across the provinces too.

Caption: Instonians were left crestfallen in April when they lost their relegation play off to Kanturk but they are looking for a quick return to the AIL this seaosn. Pic: Janusz Trzesicki

The Fixtures and Predictions - all games Saturday 2:30

Bangor v Instonians

Game of the day for sure. A hard call too, Bangor are facing the prospect of losing their opening two home games and that is the kind of start where even an 18 game campaign mightn’t allow room for a comeback in terms of the title race.

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