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AIB League: Division 1 Mid Season Update

AIB League: Division 1 Mid Season Update

The AIB League kicks into gear this weekend after a seasonal break. IrishRugby.ie takes a look at the state of play in the three divisions. Today: Division 1.

Nex season sees a new format in Division 1 with the top eight clubs making up Division 1A and the bottom eight (allowing for promotion from Division 2) forming Division 1B so the latter half of the season should make for some interesting games.

Ahead of the kick off this weekend we take a look at the state of play on a club by club basis:

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CLONTARF – The Dublin club have led Division One over the past four rounds and have already played five clubs presently in the top half of the table. They have won all three of their home fixtures. ‘Tarf have conceded the least ( 78 ) points and tries (7) since  October 4; They have lost the least (1) number of matches in Division One and crucially have beaten three of the four Limerick clubs, two of them away in the mid-west. With  six games on the trot before Christmas they still face a trip to play Con in Cork. Clontarf were fourth in the table at this stage last season.

BLACKROCK  – ‘Rock led Division One for a week after Round Three. They have yet to play four clubs currently in the top eight. The south Dublin side have scored the most tries (22) and collected the most bonus points (3) in Division One. Like Clontarf they have won all three of their home fixtures but they have lost two of their three away games in Leinster.  Winger Shane Monahan is the joint top try scorer in Division 1. ‘Rock were eleventh in the table at this stage last season.

SHANNON – Shannon have just been knocked out of the AIB Cup. The limerick side have scored the most (172) points in Division One. They have played five games at home and only two away but cruciall are due to play six clubs presently in the bottom half of the table. Tadhg Bennett is the top points scorer in all three divisions. Shannon have kicked the most (23) penalty goals in Division 1.

DOLPHIN –  Currently 4th Dolphin have yet to play five clubs currently in the top half of the table but they have collected the most (5) bonus points since October 4. They have won all three of their home fixtures. They are the only team to beat Clontarf so far this season. They will face Cork rivals Con on successive weekends in February: in the AIB Cup on Valentine’s weekend and then in a potentially season defining game in the league the following week.

BALLYMENA – are the top Ulster club in Division 1. They have yet to play six clubs presently in the top half of the table  but are on roll having won their last four games. Wing Jamie Smith has crossed for five tries. They entertain four Munster clubs at home this eason and  have already beaten the first two of them.

CORK CON – the reigning champions were top of the table at this stage last season but they face a tough run in as they have yet to play all five clubs above them in the table. Con have 1 from 3 against Munster clubs before Christmas but they will be hoping their Munster Senior Cup win will spur them to more silverware this season. 

GARRYOWEN
–  The Dooradoyle club have won their last four games and in Ciaran O’Boyle have the joint top top try (6) scorer in division 1. They were in fifth place this time last season. Garryowen have already played the top three clubs in the table. More worryingly they have jointly conceded the most (20) penalty goals in division 1 and they also face three more games away in Dublin before the end of this season.

St. MARYS –  The Dublin club led Division One for a week after Round Two. They have played five clubs presently in the top half of the table. Mary’s were also in eighth place at this stage last season. True to form they have won all three of their home fixtures and have already beaten both Ulster clubs, however they face a number of Dublin derbies as they have yet to play four Leinster clubs.

GALWEGIANS – are the top Connacht club in divison 1. They have lost three games without picking up any bonus points. They were also in ninth place this time last season. ‘Wegians have already beaten both Ulster clubs but they have yet to play against the three clubs presently at the top of the table. Interestingly, have kicked the least (3) and conceded the least (5) penalty goals in  division 1.

OLD BELVEDERE – After three opening victories Belvo have lost their last four matches. They have yet to play five clubs presently in the top half of the table and three clubs presently below them ( two at away venues );  Belvo were 13th in the table at this stage last season.

UL-BOHEMIAN –  ‘Bohs were in third place in the table at this stage last season. They have yet to play five Leinster clubs, three of them in Limerick. They  have picked up a bonus point in three of their four losses but they have yet to playagainst the three clubs presently at the top of the table.

DUNGANNON – The Ulster club have played five games at home and only two away. They were in 15th place at this stage last season. Dungannon will face Munster clubs in the next three rounds – away to ‘Bohs, home to Con and away to Shannon. They are due to play six clubs presently in the top half of the table,

BUCCANEERS –  Buccs have collected the most (5) bonus points at this stage of the season. They are 5 points clear of the drop zone but have yet to play the three clubs  presently below them in the table. They  have won just one of their last six matches and  have  jointly conceded the most (20) penalty goals in division 1.

UCD –  The students from Dublin were in tenth place in the table at this stage last season. They face a daunting run in as they have yet to play four clubs in the top of the table, three of them away and they will also entertain three Limerick clubs at Belfield in the coming months.

YOUNG MUNSTER –  The Cookies have lost all three of their home fixtures and have scored the least (72) points and the least (5) tries in division 1. They have lost their last four games but will be hoping that their AIB Cup win will re-ignite their season. They have yet to play the four clubs currently occupying the top four slots in the table.

TERENURE COLLEGE – ‘Nure have lost all three of their fixtures on the road and have conceded the most (193) points and tries (24) since October 4. They have already played five clubs presently in the top half of the table but may struggle to overcome the form which saw them lose their opening five games.

AIB League Fixtures – Click Here.

Tomorrow: Division 2 Club By Club

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