Midleton, Wanderers and Instonians will be all out to protect their unbeaten records in AIB League Division 3 this weekend, and Shaw’s Bridge should witness a cracker as ‘Inst and table toppers Midleton clash in the game of the day.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, November 14
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Ards (12th) v Portadown (11th), Hamilton Park
It looks set to be evenly poised between these two Ulster clubs this weekend. Ports are two points ahead but have played one game less than Ards and so look the more likely to take the spoils. Ards picked up their first win of the season last time out with a tight victory over Naas.
Instonians (4th) v Midleton (1st), Shaw’s Bridge
It may be a long road from Towns Park to Shaw’s Bridge but this could be well worth the trip for the neutral. Both sides are unbeaten in the league and ‘Inst have played a game less. Clem Boyd’s men have conceded an average of just eight points per game, making them a tough team to breakdown. Home advantage could prove decisive in this table-topping clash.
Naas (15th) v County Carlow (16th), Forenaughts
This Leinster derby sees both sides in the red zone and without a win so far this season. Naas have managed to secure three losing bonus points to Carlow’s one. Naas, coached by Kiwi Andy Wood, lost to Ards last time out while County Carlow, with Australian Jason Jones at the helm, were well beaten by new leaders Midelton.
Nenagh Ormond (5th) v Banbridge (8th), New Ormond Park
Two wins and a draw for the Tipp side sees them two points ahead of Banbridge in Division 3. The draw came against Barnhall last time out while the County Down club, with former Ulster and Ireland prop Simon Best now part of their committe, come into this game on the back of wins over Naas and Carlow, having lost their first two games.
Queen’s University (3rd) v Navan (6th), Dub Lane
A short jaunt up M1/A1 and some quick shopping for the Navan fans should dovetail nicely with this fixture. Queen’s are flying the flag for Division 3 in the AIB Cup with their excellent third round win over UCC last weekend. They beat Portadown last time out in the league. Navan are finding their feet this season but as their early results show, they should not be taken lightly by any side.
Rainey Old Boys (13th) v Connemara (14th), Hatrick Park
Another red zone clash sees these two clubs, separated by a single point, aiming to climb out of the lower reaches of the table. Connemara have a game in hand, albeit against high-flying ‘Inst next weekend. Rainey lost to Wanderers last time out while Connemara have not seen league action since mid-October when they were thumped 71-0 by Queen’s.
Sunday’s Well (9th) v Suttonians (10th), Musgrave Park
A hard one to call at ‘Muzzer’ on Saturday. Both on two wins, both on nine points. The home side marginally ahead on points difference. This is a game in which both clubs will hope to lay down a marker for the season ahead.
Wanderers (2nd) v Barnhall (7th), Merrion Road
A Leinster derby with Wanderers, coached by former Ireland Under-21 boss Mark McDermott, unbeaten in four games and sitting neatly on 16 points. They have been made to work hard for some of their wins but have come out the right side of the scraps so far. Barnhall have won two and drawn one and will hope to upset their Dublin 4 hosts.