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AIB League: Derby Day In Division One

AIB League: Derby Day In Division One

Today sees three derbies in AIB League Division One, with two of those in the capital and Connacht rivals Galwegians and Buccs duelling out west.

Today sees three derbies in AIB League Division One, with two of those in the capital and Connacht rivals Galwegians and Buccs duelling out west.

Bottom side Lansdowne travel to south Dublin neighbours Blackrock College, with little but a much-needed victory on their minds. Andy Doyle’s men lost last time out – 24-10 to fellow strugglers County Carlow at home – and were edged 13-11 in Dungannon earlier last month, in what could prove a pivotal result.

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Six tries in five games – with two from hooker Kevin Corrigan – has been a paltry return for a Lansdowne side largely reliant on fly-half Andy Tallon (36 points).

Eleventh-placed ‘Rock have garnered their two wins at home so far, and should prevail at Stradbrook, where a late rally saw them strike for ten injury time points against Ballymena (33-17) last month.

Twelve months ago, a Dave Gannon try and five points from the boot of full back Conor Kilroy saw them 10-8 victors against Lansdowne.

Former Bath centre Andy O’Neill has bagged four tries in five games for ‘Rock in 2004/05.

At College Park, eighth-placed Dublin University – whose second half haul of four tries saw them unlucky 23-22 losers in Ballymena three weeks ago – entertain high-flying Clontarf in just their second home game this season.

Tony Smeeth’s side won their first one, 20-12 over Buccaneers, and but for two draws (24-all v Galwegians, and 20-all v UCD), could be further up the table in their first season.

Having suffered their only loss at Con (19-9) last month, ‘Tarf were in buoyant mood in a 32-19 defeat of Garryowen last time out, and have plenty of aces – especially with 11 different players having touched down in the campaign so far.

Former Ireland Under 19 winger Mark Hewitt has bagged two of their twelve tries.

Crowley Park will probably set two brothers lining out in opposition as Galwegians centre Stuart Meagher takes on the Pirates’ full back-cum wing Justin Meagher.

‘Wegians’ 10-6 win over Con on December 18, and their earlier Connacht Senior League defeat of Saturday’s visitors to Glenina, should give Bernie Kelly’s side enough confidence for the win, but third-placed Buccs look too good, with prop Martin Cahill and back row David Kelly eyeing post-Christmas returns.

Elsewhere, a resurgent Belfast Harlequins are gunning for their second successive home win at Deramore Park, and third on-the-trot, against second-from-bottom County Carlow.

The midlanders have had fly-half Richie Murphy as their saving grace in their opening five games, with the former Greystones stalwart accounting for all but 10 of their last 45 points.

He kicked three penalties, a conversion and a drop goal in Carlow’s 24-10 win at Lansdowne last time out.

Dungannon and Cork Con both endured tight losses on December 18, and have a much-needed chance to cut loose at Stevenson Park.

Jeremy Davidson’s home side will especially want to avenge their last result – a 47-5 Jack Kyle Cup loss to Ballymena on Stephen’s Day.

Saturday, January 8: kick-off 2.30pm (unless stated)

AIB League Division One:

Belfast Harlequins v County Carlow, Deramore Park
Blackrock College v Lansdowne, Stradbrook
Dublin University v Clontarf, College Park
Dungannon v Cork Constitution, Stevenson Park
Galwegians v Buccaneers, Crowley Park

Division Two:

Ballynahinch v Bective Rangers, Ballymacarn Park
Dolphin v Malone, Musgrave Park
Old Belvedere v Thomond, Anglesea Road
Old Crescent POSTPONED Barnhall, Rosbrien, 1.45pm
Terenure College v De La Salle Palmerston, Lakelands Park

Waterpark v UCC, Ballinakill

Division Three:

Bruff POSTPONED Ballina, Kilballyowen Park
City of Derry v Sunday’s Well, Judge’s Road
Clonakilty v Suttonians, Shannonvale Cross
Corinthians v Connemara, Corinthian Park
Instonians v Greystones, Shaw’s Bridge
Old Wesley v Queen’s University, Donnybrook
Portadown v Ards, Chambers Lane
Wanderers v Skerries, Lansdowne Road

Sunday, January 9:

Division Two:

UL Bohemian v St Mary’s College, Thomond Park
Young Munster POSTPONED Highfield, Tom Clifford Park, 1.30pm