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AIB League: Division 1B Previews

AIB League: Division 1B Previews

Young Munster will meet Ballymena, their 20-9 conquerors in the AIB Cup, for the second week running when they host the Braidmen in Saturday’s game of the day in AIB League Division 1B. Meanwhile, the meeting of Dungannon and Buccaneers at Stevenson Park also has plenty on the line.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, November 14

BALLYNAHINCH (8th) v UCC (4th), Ballymacarn Park, 2.30pm

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AIB League Current Form – Ballynahinch: LWLL; UCC: LLWW
AIB League Top Scorers – Ballynahinch: Points: Ryan Bambry 22; Tries: Nevin Spence 2; UCC: Points: Andrew Burke 30; Tries: Brian Derham, James Ryan 2 each

Preview: Difficult to know what is going on with these two outfits. Certainly, Ballynahinch are going to have to improve on their last home league outing when they went down 33-5 to Young Munster.

UCC, by contrast, trounced Dungannon 20-3 in the league last time out, only to go down 24-3 to Queen’s University in the Cup. Both sides need a consistent spell to find their feet in the division and the Cork students, bidding for their third straight league win, might just have found it.

Last Season’s Meeting – Ballynahinch and UCC were in Division 2

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: UCC to win by 1-5 points

DUNGANNON (5th) v BUCCANEERS (6th), Stevenson Park, 2.30pm

AIB League Current Form – Dungannon: LWWL; Buccaneers: LLWW
AIB League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: James Shiells 12; Tries: Ethan Allen, Glen Telford, Paul Magee, Craig Gilroy, John McGuckin 1 each; Buccaneers: Points: Adam Kennedy 13; Tries: Billy Henshaw, Martin Staunton, John O’Brien, JH Potgieter, Colm Rigney 1 each

Preview: Another close encounter on the cards. Buccaneers fans must have taken encouragement form their effort in beating Galwegians last time out, particularly as ‘Wegians went on to knock UCD out of the AIB Cup last Sunday.

Dungannon must surely be better than their home defeat to UCC suggests. Their pack will need to show a big improvement from that day though and Buccs did manage to win here last season.

Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, November 29, 2008: Dungannon 23 Buccaneers 36, Stevenson Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dungannon to win by 1-5 points

GALWEGIANS (7th) v OLD BELVEDERE (1st), Crowley Park, 2.30pm

AIB League Current Form – Galwegians: WLLL; Old Belvedere: WWDW
AIB League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: Mark Butler 28; Tries: Mark Butler 3; Old Belvedere: Points: Fergus McFadden 37; Tries: David Mongan 5

Preview: A real cracker in prospect here. Division 1B leaders Old Belvedere are set to be without their prolific centre Fergus McFadden who features for Ireland ‘A’ against Tonga at Ravenhill.

Even so, they are a very capable outfit, as was proven by their AIB Cup victory over Clontarf last weekend. Galwegians will take some encouragement form their effort in beating UCD away in the cup and they have enough quality to produce a shock result here.

Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, October 25, 2008: Galwegians 14 Old Belvedere 12, Crowley Park 

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Galwegians to win by 1-5 points

YOUNG MUNSTER (2nd) v BALLYMENA (3rd), Tom Clifford Park, 2.30pm

AIB League Current Form – Young Munster: WLDW; Ballymena: WWLL
AIB League Top Scorers – Young Munster: Points: Alan Kingsley 24; Tries: Alan Kingsley, Clem Casey, Aaron Carroll 2 each; Ballymena: Points: Rory Drysdale 36; Tries: Sam McKinney 3

Preview: A repeat of last weekend’s AIB Cup encounter, won 20-9 by Ballymena at Eaton Park. It will be interesting to see if home advantage enables Young Munster to turn the tables.

They will need to be at their best as Ballymena are undoubtedly a useful outfit. They put in a very decent showing in only losing 28-21 to Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road last time out in the league.

Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, October 4, 2008: Ballymena 21 Young Munster 10, Eaton Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Young Munster to win by 1-5 points