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Division Two Final Preview: Old Belvedere v Greystones

Division Two Final Preview: Old Belvedere v Greystones

Get the low-down on all the facts and figures on the AIB League Division Two final participants, Old Belvedere and Greystones. Saturday’s game has a 4pm kick-off at Templeville Road, the home of St. Mary’s College RFC.

AIB LEAGUE: Saturday, April 28

DIVISION TWO FINAL:

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OLD BELVEDERE v GREYSTONES, Templeville Road, St. Mary’s College RFC, 4pm
Referee: Simon McDowell (Ulster)

Division Two – League History: Division Two was introduced along with Division One in October 1990 and has been in operation now for 17 seasons. Fifteen different clubs, representing all four provinces, have won the Division Two league series with Dungannon (1991/92, 1998/99) and Old Belvedere (1994/95, 2006/07) achieving the distinction twice.

The 17 winners have been: Old Wesley, Dungannon (twice), Lansdowne, Instonians, Old Belvedere (twice), Old Crescent, Clontarf, Galwegians, Blackrock College, UCD, Belfast Harlequins, Dolphin, Dublin University, UL Bohemians and Terenure College.

The list includes eight clubs from Leinster, three from Ulster and Munster and one from Connacht. On all 17 occasions, the club finishing first in the Division Two table has been promoted into Division One for the following season.

Division Two – Play-Off History: The Division Two play-offs were first arranged at the end of the 2001/02 season. The winners have been: Belfast Harlequins (2001/02), Dolphin (2002/03), Dublin University (2003/04) and UL Bohemians in 2004/05 – there have been two winners from Munster and one apiece from Leinster and Ulster. A Connacht club has yet to qualify for the Division Two play-offs.

The last two finals – played in 2004 and 2005 – have been Munster v Leinster affairs. Terenure College qualified for the championship final last season but no opponent emerged as the other semi-final – Dolphin v Young Munster – was never played due to protests and objections.

2006/07 DIVISION TWO FINAL – FACTS AND FIGURES:

* Recent form – last five AIB League games (most recent on the left): Old Belvedere: WWWWW; Greystones: WWLLW
* The regulation AIB League fixture between the two clubs took place in January at Dr. Hickey Park – it finished in a 16-15 win for Old Belvedere, with the sides sharing out two tries apiece
* Division Two semi-final results – Old Belvedere 23 Young Munster 21, Anglesea Road; Greystones 18 Clonakilty 14, Dr. Hickey Park
* Beginning in 1994/95 in Division Two, the two clubs have met each other seven times in the AIB League with Greystones the victors only once – last season. Five of these games have taken place at Anglesea Road, two in County Wicklow. The two clubs have met twice already this season, the second game was October’s Leinster Senior Cup semi-final at Anglesea Road which the hosts won 22-20
* The two clubs contesting the final finished first and second in the league and have already been promoted into Division One. For both Old Belvedere and Greystones, this is their first time to appear in a Division Two play-off final. This is the first time no Munster club has reached the Division Two final
* Saturday will see the first all-Leinster Division Two decider and it will also be the first Division Two final not to be played at Lansdowne Road
* Ronan Carroll, the Greystones winger, and Old Belvedere wide man Kevin Barden has scored 15 and 14 tries respectively and are the top two try scorers in this season’s AIB League
* The AIB League Division Two winner will receive a Union plaque and 25 medals. Both finalists will receive a cash prize

OLD BELVEDERE are unbeaten on the road in AIB League and AIB Cup fare this season with eight wins in eight matches. This is ‘Belvo’s eighth league fixture against a Leinster club this season – they have won all three games on the road in Leinster this season and lost one – 20-10 against Dublin University in October – of their four matches at home.

They have previously played 68 AIB League games against Leinster clubs and won 35 of those fixtures for a 52% success rate. ‘Belo won their first five league games, all in Division Two, against Greystones, before losing – 17-10 – for the first time in December 2005.

The Dubliners spent three seasons – 1995/96 to 1997/98 – in Division One and lost all 18 fixtures away from their Anglesea Road base. Over 25 Division Two rounds this season, they conceded the least penalty goals (17). They are currently ranked 17th of the 48 Irish senior clubs and 17th on the all-time list. They have accumulated the most bonus points (52) in AIB League rugby over the past eight seasons.

They have already won a pot this season when they captured their eleventh Leinster Senior Cup after a lapse of 39 years. They have had Leinster-contracted out-half Andy Dunne at their disposal for most of the league season. This weekend they are seeking their 100th win in AIB League history.

OLD BELVEDERE

President: Mark Feely
Sponsors: Independent Newspapers
Coach: Mike O’Donovan (director of rugby); Assistant Coaches: Richie Murphy, Warren O’Kelly
Manager: Mike Carswell

2006/07 Squad – Back three: Philip Treacy, Eamonn Fitzgerald, Kevin Barden, Dave Shanley, Ken Casey, Gareth Hayes, Johnny O’Neill
Centres: Dave Keogh, Dave Sharkey, Barry Kinsella, Ray Monaghan
Out-Halves: Andy Dunne, Richie Murphy
Scrum Halves: Ruairi Cushion, Richie Gleeson, Thomas Campbell
Props: Marcin Wilczuk, Brad Kose, Rory Keane, Warren O’Kelly
Hookers: David Gavin, James Clifford
Second Rows: Scott Hutton (capt), Erik Jackman, Richie Leyden, Barry Lynch, Fergal Meegan
Flankers: Steve Rockett, Michael McGloughlin, Tim Jago, Chris Kennedy, Paddy O’Meara, James Winstanley
Number 8s: Conor Davis, Jonny Rockett

League Season So Far – Played 16, Won 15, Lost 1, Points For 392 (48 tries, 31 conversions, 27 penalties and 3 drop goals), Points Against 217 (25 tries, 16 conversions and 20 penalties)

Top Points Scorers – Andy Dunne 99 (6 tries, 18 conversions and 11 penalties), Richie Murphy 80 (13 conversions, 16 penalties and 2 drop goals)

2006/07 Try Record – K Barden 14, A Dunne 6, R Leyden 4, S Rockett, M McGloughlin, B Kose 3 each, D Keogh, R Monaghan, B Kinsella, R Cushion 2 each, R Gleeson, D Shanley, S Hutton, P Treacy, J Clifford, E Fitzgerald, R Keane 1 each

GREYSTONES have won five of their eight matches on the road in the AIB League and AIB Cup this season, losing the other three. This is their eighth AIB League fixture against a Leinster club this season – they have won three of their four games at home and a 100% success rate in their three away outings.

They have previously played 82 AIB League games against Leinster opposition and won 36 of those games (45% success rate). ‘Stones lost their first five league games, all in Division Two, against Old Belvedere, before winning 17-10 for the first time in December 2005.

They have spent two seasons – 1992/93 and 1993/94 – in Division One and three recent seasons in Division Three. Over 15 Division Two rounds this season, they scored the most points (392) and the most tries (55). They are currently ranked 18th of the 48 Irish senior clubs and 21st on the all-time list.

They collected the most bonus points (12 – four for defeats and eight for tries) in Division Two this season. The Wicklow men have played more league games – 224 in Divisions One, Two and Three – than any other club.

GREYSTONES

President: Frank Doherty
Sponsors: Anglo Irish Bank
Coach: Colin McEntee; Assistant Coaches: Henrik Kruger, Kurt McQuilkin
Manager: Pat Toner

2006/07 Squad – Back three: David McKechnie, Darren McKenna, Eoin O’Brien, Stuart O’Connell, Ronan Carroll, Sean Carroll
Centres: Cian McNaughton, Simon Malone, Aaron Higgs, Cian O’Sullivan
Out-Halves: James Power
Scrum Halves: Eoin Toolan, Stephen Cranley
Props: Alex O’Sullivan, Barry Clancy, Jamie Hagan, Ger Cleary
Hookers: Peter Hipple, Mick Murray, Ronan Willis
Second Rows: Neil Megannety (capt), Dan McGettigan, Colm Power, Barry Holmes
Flankers: Stuart Abbott, Rob Connolly, Luke Mantle, Cormac Nolan
Number 8s: John O’Beirne, Greg Herrera

League Season So Far – Played 16, Won 12, Lost 4, Points For 410 (57 tries, 37 conversions and 17 penalties), Points Against 206 (22 tries, 12 conversions, 24 penalties and 1 drop goal)

Top Points Scorers – James Power 116 (1 try, 33 conversions and 15 penalties), Ross Spillane 14 (4 conversions and 2 penalties)

2006/07 Try Record – R Carroll 15, R Connolly, S Malone 6 each, J O’Beirne 5, C McNaughton 4, D McKenna, S Abbott, D McKechnie 3 each, A Higgs, A O’Sullivan, N Megannety 2 each, S Cranley, J Power, D McGettigan, S O’Connell, B Clancy, C Power 1 each

– AIB League statistics supplied by Des Daly –