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AIB League: Division Three Previews

AIB League: Division Three Previews

It will be first plays third at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday afternoon as Instonians entertain Queen’s University in a mouth-watering Ulster derby. Meanwhile, two more in-form sides – Banbridge and Naas – will slug it out at Rifle Park. See below for IrishRugby.ie’s Division Three match previews.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION THREE: Saturday, November 17

BANBRIDGE (4th) v NAAS (5th), Rifle Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Michael Kennedy (Munster).

Previous League Meetings: 4 (Banbridge W1, Naas W3); At Rifle Park: 2 (Banbridge W1, Naas W1)

Last Season: No game played as Naas were in the junior ranks

Form: Banbridge (most recent games on left hand side): WLWWW
Naas: WWLLL

Banbridge – Notes: – The first of two home matches against Leinster clubs this season
– This is the second of seven home games in Division Three this season
– They have enjoyed a 50% success rate in the 20 previous AIB League fixtures at home to clubs from Leinster
– They first played in the AIB League against Naas in January 2001 – they lost 15-3 at Forenaughts
– Current Ulster captain Rory Best scored a try in the 37-34 victory away to Naas in April 2003
– They have not played Naas during the past three AIB League seasons
– They currently are one of three Ulster clubs in the top four in the division. They ran in six tries in County Tipperary last week when they demolished Nenagh 43-3
– Their top points scorer so far is Richard Finlay (22 points). Their top try scorers are Gareth Martin, Stuart Wilson, Claude Crawford and Jeff Dodds (2 tries each)

Naas – Notes: – The third of four visits to Ulster this season
– This is the third of eight fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They have played 20 AIB League Division Three games against Ulster clubs and won seven of these games
– They won 19-9 on their only previous AIB League visit to Rifle Park in January 2002
– This season’s AIB League is less than one month old and Naas are making their third appearance at an Ulster ground
– They have centre Henry Bryce from Samoa as their overseas player this season. Player-coach Andrew Melville has scored a try in all three of Naas’ Division Three outings since October 27
– They overcame County Carlow 21-6 last week in the first ever AIB League meeting between the two clubs and moved up seven places in the table
– Their top points scorer so far is David Aherne (24 points). Their top try scorer is Andrew Melville (3 tries)


BRUFF (2nd) v NENAGH ORMOND (7th), Kilballyowen Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Declan Browne (Munster)

Previous League Meetings: 2 (Bruff W2, Nenagh Ormond W0); At Kilballyowen Park: 1 (Bruff W1, Nenagh Ormond W0)

Last Season: January 21, 2007 – Nenagh Ormond 3 Bruff 13, New Ormond Park

Form: Bruff (most recent games on left hand side): WWWWW
Nenagh Ormond: LWWLW

Bruff – Notes: – The second of three home matches against Munster clubs this season
– This is the second of seven home matches in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against Nenagh Ormond in March 2006 – they won 13-9 at home to them
– They have won their last eight Division Three games
– They are one season longer in Division Three than their opponents this weekend
– They are not into penalty goals at the moment and have kicked only two so far this season in the AIB League
– They have conceded the least (17) and the least tries (1) in Division Three since October 27
– Their top points scorer so far is Brian Cahill (27 points). Their top try scorer is Brendan Deady (3 tries)

Nenagh Ormond – Notes: – The last of two away games in Munster this season
– The second of seven fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They are this weekend on a hat-trick of AIB League defeats to Bruff
– Since the club arrived in Division Three, more games have been won on the road than at home at New Ormond Park
– They have won their last three AIB League fixtures on the road in Munster
– They have been successful in their last eight games at away venues in Division Three
– They have two Fijians in their squad – both are employed in the local glass factory
– They were well beaten (43-3) at home to Banbridge last week
– Their top points scorer is John Lillis (19 points)


CITY OF DERRY (15th) v CORINTHIANS (10th), Judges Road, 2.30pm
Referee: Peter Dennehy (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 7 (City of Derry W4, Corinthians W3); At Judges Road: 4 (City of Derry W2, Corinthians W2)

Last Season: January 20, 2007 – Corinthians 9 City of Derry 3, Corinthian Park

Form: City of Derry (most recent games on left hand side): LLLWW
Corinthians: LWLWL

City of Derry – Notes: – The first of two homes matches against Connacht clubs this season
– This is the third of eight home matches in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against Corinthians in October 1993 – they won 12-6 in Galway
– They have lost two of their last three AIB League fixtures with Corinthians
– They have appointed popular local journalist Alex McDonald as their PRO for this season
– They have won four of their last five Division Three fixtures at home to clubs from Connacht
– They are one of three Division Three clubs that have lost all three games so far this season
– They scored three tries but lost 26-21 away to Sunday’s Well last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Ioane Ioane (23 points). Their top try scorer is Davy Brown (2 tries)

Corinthians – Notes: – The second of four trips to Ulster this season
– This is the third of eight fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They lost 25-14 on their most recent AIB League visit to Judges Road (in March 2006)
– Aurelien Casanova, who plays number 8 for Corinthians, is at pains to explain that he is French and not a descendant of the Latin (Italian) lover of the same surname
– They are 75 years in existence as a club this season
– They have won two of their last five Division Three fixtures away in Ulster
– Former Young Munster centre Darren Claasens got on the scoresheet again last week
– They dropped four places in the table after their 15-13 loss at Queen’s University last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Darren Claasens (25 points). Their top try scorer is Darren Claasens (5 tries)


CONNEMARA (14th) v WATERPARK (9th), Monastery Field, 2.30pm
Referee: Kevin Beggs (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 3 (Connemara W2, Waterpark W1); At Monastery Field: 1 (Connemara W1, Waterpark W0)

Last Season: January 20, 2007 – Waterpark 6 Connemara 13, Ballinakill

Form: Connemara (most recent games on left hand side): LLLLL
Waterpark: DLWLL

Connemara – Notes: – The first of two home matches against Munster clubs this season
– This is the second of seven home games in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against Waterpark in February 2002 – they won 18-14 at home to them
– They have lost their last ten AIB League fixtures
– Peter O’Toole, the famous actor, wishes it to be known that although he shows ponies at the Connemara Pony Show he is not the person currently playing full-back on the Connemara team
– They lost 24-13 away to Rainey Old Boys at Magherafelt last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Paddy O’Toole (11 points)

Waterpark – Notes: – The last of two trips to Connacht this season
– This is the second of seven fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They have visited Clifden only once before in the AIB League
– They are one of five Division Three clubs that have to pay two visits to Connacht this season
– Player-coach Maurice Logue has scored 42 AIB League tries but only three of them with the Waterpark club
– Mark Murphy, this season’s captain, is no relation to Pat Murphy the club’s skipper for three of the past four seasons
– They drew 13-13 at home to Midleton last week, their ninth draw in 15 AIB League seasons
– Their top points scorer so far is Gary Jones (28 points)


INSTONIANS (1st) v QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY (3rd), Shaw’s Bridge, 2.30pm
Referee: Ray Menown (Ulster)

Previous League Meetings: 5 (Instonians W5, Queen’s University W0); At Shaw’s Bridge: 2 (Instonians W2, Queen’s University W0)

Last Season: January 20, 2007 – Queen’s University 13 Instonians 15, Dub Lane

Form: Instonians (most recent games on left hand side): WWWLW
Queen’s University: WWWLW

Instonians – Notes: – The last of two home matches against Ulster clubs this season
– This is the second of seven home games in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against Queen’s University in February 2003 – they won 26-0 at Dub Lane
– They have won all five previous AIB League fixtures against this weekend’s opposition
– They have played more AIB League fixtures (221) than any other club in Division Three this season
– This weekend they play the last of three consecutive Division Three fixtures against Ulster clubs
– They are not into penalty goals at the moment and have kicked only two so far in this season’s AIB League
– They currently top the table and have scored the most points (89) and the most tries (13) in the division
– Their top points scorer so far is Adam Telford (25 points). Their top try scorer is Adam Telford (5 tries)

Queen’s University – Notes: – The first of two away fixtures in Ulster this season
– This is the second of seven fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They lost 25-14 on their most recent league appearance at Shaw’s Bridge (in March 2006)
– They won 27-21 away to Instonians two months ago in the Ulster Senior League
– They are this weekend on a hat-trick of AIB League defeats at Shaw’s Bridge
– They have won just one of their last twelve Division Three fixtures on the road in Ulster
– They have not won their three openers since the 1993/94 season, their first campaign in the AIB League
– They scored no tries in their 15-13 victory at home to Corinthians last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Ian Porter (38 points). Their top try scorer is Chris Cochrane (3 tries)


MIDLETON (8th) v COUNTY CARLOW (16th), Towns Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Gareth Dunlop (Ulster)

Previous League Meetings: 3 (Midleton W1, County Carlow W2); At Towns Park: 1 (Midleton W1, County Carlow W0)

Last Season: January 6, 2007 – Division Two – County Carlow 16 Midleton 9, Oak Park

Form: Midleton (most recent games on left hand side): DLWLL
County Carlow: LLLWL

Midleton – Notes: – The only home match against an Leinster club this season
– This is their second of seven home matches in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against County Carlow in January 2000 – they lost 17-9 at Oak Park
– Both of these two clubs were relegated from Division Two at the end of last season
– They beat County Carlow 16-13 at Oak Park in the first round of the AIB Cup earlier on this season
– They won only one of their five home matches against Leinster clubs last season but that was in the second division
– Their defence is tight as they have conceded only two tries in their three AIB League outings to date
– They drew 13-13 away at Waterpark last week, their fifth draw in ten AIB League seasons
– Their top points scorer so far is Jason Holland (21 points). Their top try scorer is Duncan Walker (3 tries)

County Carlow – Notes: – The second of three away matches in Munster this season
– This is the third of eight fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They lost 12-10 on their most recent visit to Towns Park (in December 2000)
– All three previous AIB League games between these two clubs have produced home wins
– They have not produced an AIB League win away in Munster since the 2002/03 season
– Two seasons ago they were spending their fifth consecutive season in Div. One
– They have, so far this season, conceded the most penalty goals (11) in all three AIB League divisions
– After three Division Three fixtures, they lie at the bottom of the table and are the only club pointless in the division
– Their top points scorer so far is Greg Jacob (24 points)


OLD WESLEY (13th) v RAINEY OLD BOYS (11th), Donnybrook, 2.30pm
Referee: David O’Flynn (Munster)

Previous League Meetings: 1 (Old Wesley W1, Rainey Old Boys W0); At Donnybrook: 0

Last Season: January 20, 2007 – Rainey Old Boys 10 Old Wesley 20, Hatrick Park

Form: Old Wesley (most recent games on left hand side): LWLLL
Rainey Old Boys: WLLWL

Old Wesley – Notes: – The second of four home matches against Ulster clubs this season
– This is the third of eight home games in Division Three this season
– They were the only Leinster club to win at Hatrick Park in last season’s Division Three campaign
– This weekend they play their 218th fixture in the AIB League
– They recently chalked up their 100th all-time AIB League win and were the 17th club to reach the milestone
– Son of Alan, the former international centre, Brian Doherty is the current AIB League top try scorer at the club with 23 touchdowns
– They have conceded the most points (75) and the most tries (11) in Division Three since October 27
– They dropped four places in the table last week after their 29-3 defeat at home to Bruff
– Their top points scorer so far is Alan Large (20 points). Their top try scorer is Brian Doherty (3 tries)

Rainey Old Boys – Notes: – The first of two trips to Leinster this season
– This is the second of seven fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– This weekend they visit Donnybrook, and in fact Leinster, for the first time in the AIB League
– This weekend they are playing outside the Ulster province for the first time this season
– Club honorary secretary Paul Flanigan has been the doctor to the Leinster Junior side for the past few seasons
– Coach Willie Anderson last week celebrated his first ever victory in the third division
– They moved up five places in the table after their 24-13 victory at home to Connemara last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Michael Glancy (24 points). Their top try scorer is Damien Campbell (2 tries)


SUNDAY’S WELL (6th) v ARDS (12th), Musgrave Park, 2.30pm
Referee: Brian Montayne (Leinster)

Previous League Meetings: 3 (Sunday’s Well W1, D1, Ards W3); At Musgrave Park: 1 (Sunday’s Well W1, Ards W0)

Last Season: January 20, 2007 – Ards 12 Sunday’s Well 12, Hamilton Park

Form: Sunday’s Well (most recent games on left hand side): WLWLL
Ards: LWLLW

Sunday’s Well – Notes: – The second of three home matches against Munster clubs this season
– This is their third of eight home games in Division Three this season
– They first played in the AIB League against Ards in April 2005 – they lost 52-29 away in County Down
– There has been no home loss in the three previous AIB League fixtures between these two clubs
– At some stage during Saturday’s game, there should be three Moynihan brothers packing down in their front row
– This weekend they entertain an Ulster club for the second time in two weeks
– They have conceded the least penalty goals (2) in Division Three since October 27
– They moved up five places in the table after their 26-21 victory at home to City of Derry last week
– Their top points scorer so far is Jono Lynch (28 points)

Ards – Notes: – The first of two trips Munster this season
– This is their second of seven fixtures on the road in Division Three this season
– They lost 21-17 on the only previous occasion the club played at Musgrave Park in the AIB League (in March 2006)
– Jordan Millar, who scored twelve Division Three tries last season on the wing for Ards, is due back from injury shortly
– They have two recent schoolboys in flying form on the wings at the moment
– They have failed to produce a win in their last four AIB League visits to Munster
– This week the peninsula club travel outside Ulster for the first time this season
– They lost 31-13 at home to Instonians last week and have picked up no bonus points so far in this season’s AIB League
– Their top points scorer so far is Mark Banford (13 points). Their top try scorer is David Armstrong (2 tries)


– AIB League statistics courtesy of Des Daly