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AIB League: Match Previews

AIB League: Match Previews

Sunday is a chance for some clubs to catch up on their postponed games in the AIB League. There is a big Division 1A clash at Dooradoyle, while Clonakilty are scrapping for survival in Division 2.

AIB LEAGUE: Sunday, February 7

DIVISION 1A:

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GARRYOWEN (7th) v DOLPHIN (3rd), Dooradoyle, 2.30pm

AIB League Current Form – Garryowen: WLLLLWWD; Dolphin: WWWLLWLWW 
AIB League Top Scorers – Garryowen: Points: Conor Murray 46; Tries: Ronan O’Mahony 2; Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 52; Tries: Barry Keeshan, Barry O’Mahony, James Coughlan 2 each 

Preview: There are no easy games in an eight-team division but some games are bigger than others, depending on where you stand in the table.

For both Garryowen and Dolphin, this is a BIG game. Garryowen will still be smarting from their AIB Cup final loss to Cork Con last Saturday, and the AIB League is their sole focus now, with ground to make up.

With games in hand, the Dooradoyle outfit will be hoping to climb out of the relegation zone. Head coach Paul Cunningham said: “We’ve got a very tough job against Dolphin. This weekend’s game is going to take a huge effort after the disappointment of losing to Cork Con. A lot of tough work.

“We have to secure our league position, that’s the critical thing at the moment.” 

By contrast, Dolphin could climb one place up to second in the table with a win on Sunday. A victory would see them move a point clear of Cork rivals Constitution, though the Temple Hill side will then have a game in hand.

Blow out the cobwebs on Sunday afternoon and get down to Dooradoyle for what promises to be a cracking game of club rugby with plenty at stake. The sides are set to meet again at Musgrave Park on Saturday, February 20.

Last Season’s Meeting – Saturday, April 11, 2009: Dolphin 14 Garryowen 9, Musgrave Park 

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

DIVISION 2:

Clonakilty (15th) v Thomond (11th), Shannonvale Cross, 2pm
Another game that was postponed from last month, as both clubs play catch-up and both know the task in hand. A win for Clonakilty could see them move level on points with Highfield, though their points difference may keep them below their Cork rivals in the table.
Lose this one and relegation really starts to loom on the horizon for the Shannonvale residents.
Thomond are clear of the danger zone and a win would push them up three or four places in the table to a respectable 7th or 8th.
The Limerick side should be too strong for Clon but the pressure is on in West Cork and past results will count for little come kick-off time.