MATCH A - MALONE v ARDS, Gibson Park, 7.30pm (Thursday, October 4)
Referee: Jude Quinn (Munster)
Status: Non-Interprovinicial game - an AIB League Division Two team at home to Division Three opposition.
Previous AIB League Fixtures: The clubs have never met in the AIB League.
Recent Ulster League/Cup Meetings: 2006/07 Ulster Senior League: Malone 22 Ards 22; 2007/08 Ulster Senior League: Malone 39 Ards 3.
AIB League History: First competed in the 1990/91 season. They have had one season in Division One and one season in the junior ranks. For 15 seasons, they have been a Division Two club. Their all-time AIB League ranking is 23rd.
2006/07 Finish: They were 14th in AIB League Division Two last season - the two clubs below Malone were relegated.
AIB Cup Record: 2005/06: Lost in the first round - 19-12 away to Terenure College; 2006/07: Lost in the first round - 12-7 away to Terenure College.
Current Season: Malone currently lie in fourth place in the Ulster Senior League, having played five games, won three and lost two. They have scored victories over City of Derry, Queen's and Ards and lost to Dungannon and Instonians, collecting a losing bonus point on both occasions.
Comment: They are competing this season for the third time in the AIB Cup and are seeking their first victory in the competition.
AIB League History: First competed in the 1993/94 season. They spent seven seasons in Division Four, two season in the junior ranks and five seasons in Division Three. Their all-time AIB League ranking is 48th.
2006/07 Finish: They were 9th in AIB League Division Three last season.
AIB Cup Record: 2005/06: Did not qualify; 2006/07: Did not qualify.
Current Season: Ards presently find themselves adrift at the bottom of the Ulster Senior League table after seven rounds. They have lost all seven games and conceded 267 points in the process - the losses include three against AIB League Division Three clubs.
Comment: Rugby affairs can only but improve at the peninsula club. As luck would have it, they travelled to Gibson Park also last weekend to play in the Ulster Senior League and lost heavily by 39-3.
IrishRugby.ie Verdict: Malone to win.