There are some cracking ties in prospect in AIB League Division 1A this Saturday afternoon. Leaders Blackrock College travel to a Clontarf side that only opened their win account last weekend, while Limerick bragging rights will be on the line once again when out-of-sorts champions Shannon entertain UL Bohemians in an unlikely bottom of the table clash.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, October 31
CLONTARF (6th) v BLACKROCK COLLEGE (1st), Castle Avenue, 2.30pm
AIB League Current Form – Clontarf: LLW; Blackrock College: WWW
AIB League Top Scorers – Clontarf: Points: Martin Dufficy 19; Tries: Sean Carey, Michael Keating, Martin Garvey 1 each; Blackrock College: Points: James Power 26; Tries: Andrew Conway, David Moore 2 each
Preview: A chance for Clontarf to make a statement against a Blackrock side that continues to set the pace at the top of the table.
Last weekend, it was their pack and not the much-hyped back division which earned Blackrock a narrow victory over Cork Constitution.
That pack will unquestionably need to deliver again against a Clontarf outfit which is sure to improve following a first victory last Saturday, away to UL Bohs.
Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, November 29, 2008: Clontarf 26 Blackrock College 8, Castle Avenue
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Blackrock College to win by 1-5 points
CORK CONSTITUTION (4th) v GARRYOWEN (5th), Temple Hill, 2.30pm
AIB League Current Form – Cork Constitution: LWL; Garryowen: WLL
AIB League Top Scorers – Cork Constitution: Points: Richie Lane 13; Tries: Tom Gleeson, Frank Cogan, Richie Lane, Darragh Lyons 1 each; Garryowen: Points: Conor Murray 18; Tries: Ronan O’Mahony 1
Preview: Both teams trying to get over the frustration of losing matches they could so easily have won last time out.
In the case of Cork Constitution, they will be hoping that home advantage and the accurate boot of Richie Lane gives them an edge. Garryowen’s season has yet to take off and they need to show a significant improvement.
Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, December 6, 2008: Garryowen 20 Cork Constitution 19, Dooradoyle
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Cork Constitution to win by 1-5 points
SHANNON (7th) v UL BOHEMIANS (8th), Coonagh, 2.30pm
AIB League Current Form – Shannon: LLL; UL Bohemians: LLL
AIB League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: David Quinlan 10; Tries: David Quinlan 2; UL Bohemians: Points: Ed Torrie, Cathal Sheridan, Darragh Frawley 3 each; Tries: –
Preview: Maybe a switch to Coonagh will bring about a change of luck for Shannon as they attemp to secure a first victory. Annoyingly, they have had chances to win all three of their matches to date.
Typically, the opportunity was there when recovering from 18-0 down to get back to 18-14 against Dolphin but they failed to go through with their effort. Still, they have one of the best finishers around in Stephen Kelly and must be fancied to turn things around.
Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, April 11, 2009: UL Bohemians 6 Shannon 12, Annacotty
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Shannon to win by 6-10 points
ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (2nd) v DOLPHIN (3rd), Templeville Road, 2.30pm
AIB League Current Form – St. Mary’s College: WWW; Dolphin: WWW
AIB League Top Scorers – St. Mary’s College: Points: Gavin Dunne 19; Tries: Robin Copeland 2; Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 43; Tries: Barry Keeshan 2
Preview: Probably the match of the day. Both sides have won their three opening games with St. Mary’s College just ahead of their Cork rivals by virtue of a bonus point.
Dolphin, with team captain and out-half Barry Keeshan scoring points for fun and a fantastic back row unit, continue to deliver. This though will be the toughest test to date against a St. Mary’s outfit that decisively beat Clontarf on their only previous home outing.
Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, November 29, 2008: Dolphin 38 St. Mary’s College 3, Musgrave Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dolphin to win by 1-5 points