WEEKEND FEATS: ...Making his first AIB League start in over a year, John Cleary announced his return in style in Galwegians' 47-32 defeat of Blackrock last Saturday. Winger Cleary scored two tries and kicked a conversion for a 12-point personal haul.
The 2004/05 AIB League Team of the Season nominee was recalled by coach Paul Young after bagging three tries against Sligo in the junior ranks and also dotting down against Connacht's 'A' team in a recent friendly...
...It has been quite an introduction to AIB League fare for Aidan Wynne. The Ferbane teenager, who won a Leinster Schools Senior Cup medal with Blackrock last March, has scored two tries so far for Buccaneers - he dotted down in their defeat of Dungannon last weekend.
The Ireland Under-19 international has already played in three different positions for Buccs - centre, out-half and scrum half...
...Former Ireland Under-19 international Kevin Barden is fast becoming the winger to watch in Division Two. Voted Old Belvedere's most promising senior player last season, he touched down twice in their 28-3 win at Midleton on Saturday. His try tally now stands at seven in five league games...
...Saturday saw American prop Andy King get off the mark for Dublin University. He bagged his first try for his new club in their 20-15 win over Suttonians, and the USA Universities-capped player cuts quite a figure on the field, standing at 6ft 3in, weighing in at 19 stone and with a mop of long curly hair to boot!
King is listed on the USA Eagles' 60-man player pool and is hoping to break into the senior squad ahead of next year's World Cup. Another American Jacob Waasdorp was moulded into a formidable tighthead at Trinity, under the guidance of Tony Smeeth, and then got selected to play at the 2003 World Cup in Australia...
...Wayne Murphy certainly had his kicking boots on at Tom Clifford Park at the weekend, tallying up 23 points. He banged over seven penalties and converted Eamonn Broderick's try in Young Munster's 28-13 victory over Carlow...
GET WELL SOON T-BONE: Best wishes to Tyrone Howe who sustained a medial knee ligament injury in Banbridge's 38-15 win over City of Derry last Saturday.
Barely four hours later, the former Ireland, Ulster and Lions winger shrugged off the disappointment to co-commentate for Setanta Sports on the Ulster-Leinster Magners League game - on crutches!
EXTRA VISION: Dungannon face a trip to high-flying UL Bohemians next Saturday, but the weekend just gone they showed just how forward thinking AIB League clubs have become in recent seasons.
The County Tyrone club had one of their squaddies down in Dublin, videoing UCD's win over Terenure College last Saturday. Jeremy Davidson's side meet the Belfield students at Stevenson Park on December 16.
TROPHY TIME: May is a long time away yet, but there are two trophies on offer in the AIB League next weekend - Division One's south Dublin duel between UCD and Blackrock has the Jerry Fogarty trophy up for grabs, while the winners of the Malone-De La Salle Palmerston encounter in Division Two will walk away with the Des Merrey trophy.
...Scrum half Peter McKee, who scored Cork Con's only try in their 11-8 win over UL Bohs, competes for possession with Fergal Lawlor...
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UCD centre Fergus McFadden. The 20-year-old is coming of age in his second season with 'College. A strong runner and assured kicker, the Arts student is a member of the Leinster Academy and was capped for the Ireland Under-21s earlier this year.
He scored a try and kicked two conversions and three penalties (for a total of 18 points) in UCD's 28-22 defeat of Terenure last Saturday, holding his nerve over some crucial kicks to guide his side to their first league win of the season.
TRY OF THE WEEK: Aidan Wynne's 61st-minute score against Dungannon, which steered Buccaneers to a 19-14 win at Dubarry Park. After lineout possession had been won, the 19-year-old starlet accelerated through the 'Gannon midfield, beating his marker and then bursting past two defenders to dart in near the posts.
AIB LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK:
15 - Jordan Millar (Ards)
14 - John Cleary (Galwegians)
13 - Fergus McFadden (UCD)
12 - Gareth Martin (Banbridge)
11 - Aaron Ferris (Ballynahinch)
10 - Aidan Wynne (Buccaneers)
9 - Peter McKee (Cork Constitution)
1 - John Lyne (Lansdowne)
2 - Damien Campbell (Rainey Old Boys)
3 - Ross Davies (Galwegians)
4 - Ed Mackey (Garryowen)
5 - Shane O'Connor (Cork Constitution)
6 - Aidan O'Gorman (UL Bohemians)
7 - John O'Beirne (Greystones)
8 - Kolo Kiripati (Wanderers)