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AIB League: Division One Previews

AIB League: Division One Previews

Limerick rivals Garryowen and Shannon, who have shared the Division One title over the past four seasons, meet at Dooradoyle on Saturday in the top flight’s match of the day. Meanwhile, there are two Dublin derbies down for decision and Greystones host their first Division One match at Dr. Hickey Park for 13 years.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION ONE: Saturday, November 3

DOLPHIN (3rd) v OLD BELVEDERE (10th), Musgrave Park, 2.30pm (Sunday, November 4)
Referee: Ger English (Munster)

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Previous League Meetings: 10 (Dolphin W5, Old Belvedere W5); At Musgrave Park: 4 (Dolphin W1, Old Belvedere W3)

Last Season: No game played as Old Belvedere were in Division Two

Form: Dolphin (most recent games on left hand side): WLLLL
Old Belvedere: LLWWW

Dolphin – Notes: * This is their first of four home games against Leinster opposition this season
* They have previously played 90 AIB League fixtures against Leinster clubs, winning 38 of those games
* They first played in the league against Old Belvedere in September 1993, losing 15-14 at home in Division Two. They have lost their last two home matches against Old Belvedere but are seeking a hat-trick of league wins over the Anglesea Road outfit this weekend
* They are competing in Division One for the second consecutive season and are seeking their 100th victory in AIB League history this weekend
* Their top points scorer is Barry Keeshan (18 points)

Old Belvedere – Notes: * This is their first of three visits to Munster and two visits to Cork this season
* They have previously played 40 AIB League matches on the road in Munster – they won 16 of those fixtures. They were 43-25 winners on their most recent visit to Dolphin in December 2001
* They have played Dolphin just once before in Division One, losing 23-15 away to them in January 1998, and nine times in Division Two
* They have just arrived back in Division One after an absence of nine seasons and are still seeking their 100th win in AIB League history
* Their top points scorer is Richie Murphy (8 points)

GALWEGIANS (6th) v BALLYMENA (16th), Crowley Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Alan Rogan (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 9 (Galwegians W0, Ballymena W9); At Crowley Park: 5 (Galwegians W0, Ballymena W5)

Last Season: November 4, 2006 – Ballymena 25 Galwegians 14, Eaton Park

Form: Galwegians (most recent games on left hand side): WLLWL
Ballymena: LLLLL

Galwegians – Notes: * This is their only home match against an Ulster club this season
* They have previously played 23 AIB League games at home to clubs from Connacht and enjoyed a 50% success rate in these fixtures
* They first played in the league against Ballymena in February 1994, losing 13-3 at home in Division Two. They won their two games at home to Ulster clubs in Division One last season
* They are competing in Division One for the eighth consecutive season and got their campaign off to a bright start last week with a 10-8 home win over St. Mary’s College
* Their top points scorer is Cormac O’Beirne (7 points)

Ballymena – Notes: * This is their only trip to Connacht this season and their 20th AIB League fixture against a Connacht club – they are seeking their 14th win
* They won 17-15 on their most recent league visit to Crowley Park in March 2006. They have never failed to beat Galwegians in the league and have departed victorious on their five previous visits to Crowley Park
* They have won two and lost two on their four most recent Division One visits to the west. They are competing in the top flight for the 13th consecutive season
* They lost 26-3 at home to Garryowen last Saturday, their fifth successive defeat at home to a Limerick club in the AIB League
* Their top points scorer is Donovan Raw (3 points)

GARRYOWEN (1st) v SHANNON (7th), Dooradoyle, 2.30pm
Referee: George Clancy (Munster)

Previous League Meetings: 19 (Garryowen W7, D1, Shannon W11); At Dooradoyle: 5 (Garryowen W3, Shannon W6)

Last Season: November 4, 2006 – Shannon 11 Garryowen 19, Thomond Park

Form: Garryowen (most recent games on left hand side): WWWWW
Shannon: WWWWL

Garryowen – Notes: * This is their first of two home matches against Munster clubs this season. They have previously played 90 AIB League games at home to Munster opposition and won 15 of these games
* They first played against Shannon in the AIB League in January 1991 – they won 15-12 at Dooradoyle – but have won just one of their last four league games at home to Shannon
* They lost 22-16 to Shannon at Coonagh in the Munster Senior Cup two weeks ago. This weekend’s game is their first of three consecutive fixtures against Munster clubs in this season’s Division One
* They are competing in the top flight for the 18th consecutive season. They won 26-3 over Ballymena at Eaton Park last Saturday, scoring four tries in the process
* Their top points scorer is Conor Kilroy (11 points)

Shannon – Notes: * This is their first of two away games in Munster this season – they have previously played 25 AIB League fixtures on the road in their own province and won 13 of these games
* They have the second best Munster clubs record playing other Munster clubs in the AIB League
* They won 21-20 on their most recent league visit to Dooradoyle – the Division One semi-final in May 2006. They are competing in the top flight for the 18th consecutive season
* They have lost three of their last four Division One encounters with Garryowen. For the first time ever in the league, they failed to record a single victory on the road in Munster last season
* Their top points scorer is Andrew Thompson (15 points)

GREYSTONES (14th) v CORK CONSTITUTION (2nd), Dr. Hickey Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Leo Colgan (Munster)

Previous League Meetings: 2 (Greystones W0, Cork Constitution W2); At Dr. Hickey Park: 1 (Greystones W0, Cork Constitution W1)

Last Season: No game played as Greystones were in Division Two

Form: Greystones (most recent games on left hand side): LWWWL
Cork Constitution: WLWWW

Greystones – Notes: * This is their first of three home matches against Munster clubs this season and their first of eight home matches in this season’s AIB League
* They are seeking their 20th victory in 33 AIB League matches at home to Munster opposition this weekend
* They have the second best Leinster clubs record playing Munster clubs in the AIB League – they lost 23-6 to Cork Constitution in the sides’ most recent league encounter in November 1993 at Temple Hill
* They won three of their four league matches at home to Munster opposition in Division Two last season. They have just arrived back in Division One after an absence of 13 seasons
* Their top points scorer is David McKechnie (10 points)

Cork Constitution – Notes: * This is their first of four visits to Leinster this season – this weekend’s game is their 95th league fixture against a Leinster club and they are seeking their 67th win
* They have the best Munster clubs record playing Leinster clubs in the AIB League. They won 23-20 on their only previous league visit to the County Wicklow side in November 1992
* They are on a hat-trick of league victories over Greystones this weekend. They are competing in Division One for the 18th consecutive season
* Their 18-5 victory over Blackrock College last weekend was their seventh straight home win over the Dubliners
* Their top points scorer is Jeremy Manning (8 points)

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (11th) v CLONTARF (12th), Templeville Road, 2.30pm
Referee: Alain Rolland (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 9 (St. Mary’s College W4, Clontarf W5); At Templeville Road: 5 (St. Mary’s College W1, Clontarf W4)

Last Season: January 27, 2007 – Clontarf 22 St. Mary’s College 23, Castle Avenue

Form: St. Mary’s College (most recent games on left hand side): LLDWW
Clontarf: LWLWW

St. Mary’s College – Notes: * This is their first of five home matches against Leinster clubs this season and their first of eight home games in Division One this season
* They have previously played 43 AIB League fixtures at home to clubs from their own province and 25 of these games. They have the second best Leinster clubs record playing other Leinster clubs in the AIB League
* They first played in the AIB League against Clontarf in January 1998, losing 23-11 at home to their Dublin rivals. They have lost their last three Division games at home to Clontarf
* They are competing in Division One for the third consecutive season. Their 10-8 loss at Galwegians last weekend was their first defeat since the 2007/08 began two months ago
* Their top points scorer is Matt Crockett (5 points)

Clontarf – Notes: * This is their second of five away games in Leinster this season and their second of seven fixtures on the road in this season’s league campaign
* This is their 40th league fixture on the road in their own province and they have won 22 of these games. They have the best Leinster clubs record playing other Leinster clubs in the AIB League
* They won 32-23 on their most recent league appearance at Templeville Road in April 2006. They have won four of their last five league tussles with St. Mary’s College
* Competing in Division One for the eleventh straight season, they are due to play St. Mary’s College in this season’s Leinster Senior Cup final. Last weekend’s 15-10 loss to Lansdowne was their first defeat since the 2007/08 season started two months ago
* Their top points scorers are Daragh O’Shea and Cian Healy (5 points each)

TERENURE COLLEGE (9th) v BLACKROCK COLLEGE (15th), Lakelands Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Alan Lewis (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 9 (Terenure College W3, Blackrock College W6); At Lakelands Park: 3 (Terenure College W1, Blackrock College W2)

Last Season: November 4, 2006 – Blackrock College 31 Terenure College 19, Stradbrook

Form: Terenure College (most recent games on left hand side): LWLLW
Blackrock College: LWLLW

Terenure College – Notes: * This is their first of three home matches against Leinster opposition this season and their first of seven home matches in this season’s league campaign
* They have previously played 36 AIB League fixtures at home to Leinster clubs and won 21 of these games
* They first played in the AIB League against Blackrock College in February 1992 – they lost the Division Two clash by 21-6. They previously played Blackrock College twice in Division Two and seven times in the top flight
* Competing in Division One for the second consecutive season, they won one and lost two of their three home games against Leinster clubs last season. They picked up two bonus points in last week’s 31-30 loss to Dungannon
* Their top points scorers are David McAllister and Anthony Ronan (10 points each)

Blackrock College – Notes: * This is their first of three games on the road in Leinster this season and their second of eight league fixtures on the road this season
* They have previously played 38 AIB League games on the road in their own province and won 17 of these games. They lost 23-20 on their most league visit to Lakelands Park in February 2002
* They have won two and lost three of their last five Division One games on the road in Leinster
* They are competing in Division One currently for the eight consecutive season. They lost 18-5 at Temple Hill last weekend
* Their top points scorer is Fionn Carr (5 points)

UCD (13th) v DUNGANNON (8th), Belfield, 2.30pm
Referee: Olan Trevor (Munster)

Previous League Meetings: 6 (UCD W4, Dungannon W2); At Belfield: 3 (UCD W2, Dungannon W1)

Last Season: December 16, 2006 – Dungannon 29 UCD 24, Stevenson Park

Form: UCD (most recent games on left hand side): LWWLL
Dungannon: WLDLL

UCD – Notes: * This is their only home match against an Ulster club this season and their first of eight home games in Division One this season
* They have previously played 26 AIB League fixtures at home to Ulster opposition and won 17 of these games. They first played in the AIB League against Dungannon in February 2002 – they won 42-30 away in Tyrone
* They have won two and lost three of their last five Division One matches at home to Ulster clubs. They have had their Colours match against Trinity College postponed until after Christmas this season
* Competing in Division One for the seventh consecutive season, they are seeking their 100th win in AIB League history this weekend. They lost 16-8 away to UL Bohemians last Saturday – it was their fifth consecutive top flight defeat in Limerick
* Their top points scorer is Andy Cummiskey (5 points)

Dungannon – Notes: * This is their first of four trips to Leinster clubs this season and their first of eight fixtures on the road in Division One
* They are seeking their 15th victory in 45 AIB League visits to Leinster this weekend. They lost 26-3 on their most recent league visit to Belfield in January 2006
* They have lost six of their last seven league games away in Leinster and are currently competing in Division One for the ninth consecutive season
* Their 31-30 victory at home to Terenure College last Saturday was their 100th victory in AIB League history
* Their top points scorer is Adam Larkin (10 points)

UL BOHEMIANS (4th) v LANSDOWNE (5th), UL Bowl, 2.30pm
Referee: Mark Hermin (Ulster)

Previous League Meetings: 3 (UL Bohemians W1, Lansdowne W2); At Thomond Park: 1 (UL Bohemians W1, Lansdowne W0)

Last Season: November 4, 2006 – Lansdowne 15 UL Bohemians 14, Lansdowne Road

Form: UL Bohemians (most recent games on left hand side): WLLWW
Lansdowne: WLWLW

UL Bohemians – Notes: * This is their second of four home matches against Leinster opposition this season and their seven of seven home games in the current Division One campaign
* This weekend will see them play their 40th AIB League fixture at home to a Leinster club and they are seeking their 20th victory
* They first played in the league against Lansdowne in January 2003, losing 43-22 at Lansdowne Road. The three previous UL Bohemians-Lansdowne Division One games have produced three home wins
* Competing in Division One for the third consecutive season, they won 16-8 at home to UCD last Saturday at their new ground, the UL Bowl, at the university
* Their top points scorer is Fergal Lawlor (11 points)

Lansdowne – Notes: * This is their first of two trips to Munster this season and their first of eight fixtures in the AIB League on the road
* They have previously visited Munster on 34 occasions in the league and won ten games there. They lost 32-20 on their only previous league visit to Limerick to play UL Bohemians (March 2006)
* They have lost their last eight Division One games on the road in Munster
* Competing in Division One for the 15th consecutive season, they won 15-10 over Clontarf last weekend at the RDS – their new home ground this season
* Their top points scorer is Robbie Dolan (9 points)

– AIB League statistics courtesy of Des Daly