The New Season on KnockOn.ie

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Hi folks, Rob Murphy here, creator and editor of KnockOn.ie.

The new season is upon us and KnockOn.ie 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 KnockOn.ie 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.

Club Rankings 6th to10th

Enniscorthy Coolmine

Ireland’s Top 30 Provincial League Clubs (6th to 10th)

In part two of our Top 30 club series we focus on the teams ranked six to ten.
We’ll be ranking the top 30 provincial clubs between now and the end of next week and we’ll also have a piece on ten clubs outside the top 30 but on the rise.

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.

Part 1: Rankings 1 to 5 (click here)

The Rankings

6. Enniscorthy

Honours
All Ireland Junior Cup Champions

Club Rankings Top 5

Wanderers celebrate

Ireland’s Top 30 Provincial League Clubs

Over the next few days we’ll be listing our top 30 provincial league clubs from 2013/14. The series starts with the top five clubs and will continute tomorrow with clubs ranked six through ten, writes Rob Murphy.

The initial focus of the rankings is on provincial league performances and the Round Robin Qualifiers before taking into account 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

1. Wanderers

Honours
Leinster League Champions
UBL Round Robin Champions

Podcast: Junior Inter-Pro

junior interprovincial ulster v leinster

The 2014 Junior Inter-Provincial series produced some exciting rugby and a dramatic final day as Leinster ended a four year wait for honours. Their coach, Dave Mahon sat down with Rob Murphy to review the series in full.

They look back at a campaign where Ulster just couldn’t buy a break, Munster picked up two wins and Connacht fought back from a disastrous start to finish with some positive vibes.

Caption: Action from the final league clash between Ulster and Leinster which ended in a 21 all draw. Pic: Voicu Duma.

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