Nenagh Ormond have retaken the lead in Division 2A, moving a point clear of Banbridge who tripped up away to fellow promotion hopefuls Highfield. Meanwhile, Cashel upset the form book when pipping hosts Queen's in a cliffhanger at the Dub.
Armagh's reward for winning all of their matches over the first half of the season is a nine-point advantage at the top of Division 2B. They have three Leinster clubs tucked behind them, while struggling Thomond and City of Derry really need to hit the ground running in the New Year.
Rainey Old Boys head into the Christmas break with a one-point lead at the top of Division 2C. It is particularly tight at both ends of the table, with only four points covering the leading quartet and the three bottom sides separated by just three points.
Despite some testing conditions around the country, the final round of Ulster Bank League action before Christmas produced an avalanche of scores.. Armagh lead Division 2B thanks to their superb nine-match winning streak over the first half of the season, while Lansdowne, Buccaneers, Nenagh Ormond and Rainey Old Boys are the other table toppers.
Banbridge's three chief chasers are all at home this afternoon in the final round of Division 2A fixtures before Christmas. The match of the day is undoubtedly table-topping Bann's trip to fourth-placed Highfield.
The curtain comes down on an action-packed 2016 in Ulster Bank League Division 1A as Lansdowne host Young Munster in another mouth-watering top of the table clash and in-form Cork Constitution face student opposition for the second time in a week.
The final round of Division 1B matches begins with tonight's Leinster derby between Old Wesley and Naas under the Donnybrook floodlights. Saturday's big match is the meeting of two of the top three sides, Ballymena and Buccaneers, at Eaton Park.
The next challengers up to try and take Armagh's unbeaten record are third-placed Wanderers. Meanwhile, struggling Skerries, Thomond and City of Derry are all scrapping for elusive wins in the final round of Division 2B action before Christmas.
Ulster Bank League Division 2C enters a fascinating phase with the first of the back-to-back fixtures this Saturday, and the return legs taking place on January 21. While Rainey continue to top the table, only three points separate the five clubs in the chasing pack.
Nenagh Ormond's spell at the top of Division 2A was short-lived after they lost their Munster derby to Sunday's Well, while Banbridge reclaimed top spot with a bonus point win and Queen's University have made it an Ulster 1-2.
Armagh's promotion march quickened considerably in pace with a 10-point victory away to chief chasers Greystones. They now hold a nine-point lead at the summit, with MU Barnhall and Old Crescent the only movers after the four games played in round 8.
Tullamore, Sligo and Bruff all gained ground in Ulster Bank League Division 2C thanks to wins on the road in round 8. With Navan losing at Midleton, Rainey Old Boys have reasserted control at the top, bagging their fifth try-scoring bonus point in a 26-5 success against Kanturk.
IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby, Anthony Eddy, has named a new and exciting looking Ireland Men's Sevens squad to take part in the first tournament of the 2016/17 season at the Dubai Sevens Men's International Invitational on December 2-3.
The penultimate round of Ulster Bank League fixtures before Christmas produced some excellent rugby across all five divisions. Lansdowne are the new leaders in the top flight, Buccaneers hold a four-point advantage at Division 1B's summit and the Ulster trio of Banbridge, Armagh and Rainey Old Boys lead the lower divisions.
It is tight at the top and bottom of Ulster Bank League Division 1A as the action resumes tonight with four 'Friday Night Lights' fixtures, including a heavyweight Limerick derby and three all-Dublin clashes.