Jump to main content

Menu

AIB League: Division 3 Previews

AIB League: Division 3 Previews

She thought he was taking her to Paris when he mentioned ‘the match at the weekend.’ How wrong she was. Still the AIB League is not without romance, so check it out this weekend at a club near you and you can always watch Paris afterwards in the clubhouse!

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, February 13 
– Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated
Portadown (13th) v Sunday’s Well (7th), Chambers Park, 2pm
This one should go according to form and current ranking.
The Ports have not won in the league for some time. In fact you have to go back to October and an unlikely if well earned win over Nenagh Ormond. Perhaps the ‘Well should be wary all the same?
The Cork side need other results to go their way if they are to make the play-offs but a win on the road this Saturday should keep them in a position to pounce if it does fall out in their favour.
Banbridge (3rd) v Wanderers (6th), Rifle Park
Rory Best is back on Ireland duty by way of some match practice with Banbridge a few weeks back but his presence brought out the supporters and they should be back again this weekend as the Rifle Park outfit look to keep the pressure on Queen’s University and Midleton.
Seven wins out of ten games is a decent return and four bonus points (2 of each) sees them flying high and they come into this game on the back of wins over Connemara, Barnhall and Portadown.
Wanderers will be a different prospect and if they are to make the top four and a play-off spot, then they need to win this one. They have won only one of their last three games and will target this one for a turnaround.
County Carlow (16th) v Nenagh Ormond (4th), Oak Park
Another game that should reflect form and placing. Carlow cannot really avoid the drop zone with only one win in nine games.
Nenagh Ormond, by contrast, are right in the play-off zone and like Bann are ready and waiting for an unlikely Queen’s slip-up.
The Munster side had a big win over ‘Inst last time out, while Carlow went down by a similar margin to Wanderers. An away win is on the cards.
Connemara (14th) v Barnhall (10th), Monastery Field
Contrasting fortunes for these clubs means this game is crucial to the hosts if they are to keep out of the relegation zone.
Two wins in ten games and shipping 254 points has not helped the Galway club’s cause this season and they lie just two points ahead of Naas in the table.
Barnhall travel with little but pride at stake, but that is something the Leixlip club have in spades, meaning they will not just turn up – they will play and they will probably deny their hosts the much-needed points.
Midleton (1st) v Rainey Old Boys (11th), Towns Park
Any romantic notions of catching Midleton should be dispelled come the final whistle at Towns Park on Saturday.
Unbeaten in ten games. ‘Nuff said really.
Rainey, like Barnhall, do not have much at stake this season. Clear of relegation but not a threat to the play-offs, they will still travel to play but the home team should have too much in the tank.
Naas (15th) v Instonians (5th), Forenaughts
A big game for both teams. Naas will hope that Kildare ‘neighbours’ Barnhall will do them a favour out west if they can do the job on ‘Inst.
But Naas lost to Rainey and Nenagh in recent weeks and they will struggle to contain the lively Instonians pack at Forenaughts on Saturday.
The Ulster side still have play-off ambitions, though last week’s loss to Nenagh was a setback. They should bounce back though with a win this weekend.
Navan (9th) v Ards (12th), Balreask Old
A good solid season for Navan. Not as much in the way of silverware as in recent seasons, but they have survived the jump from the Leinster League and can look forward to AIB League rugby again next season.
A win on Saturday would boost their standing and it could leave visitors Ards sweating on results elsewhere.
Ards enjoyed a big win over another Leinster provincial side when they hosted Carlow back in January but the Meath men will be a different prospect. A close game could be on the cards with the home side just edging it.
Queen’s University (2nd) v Suttonians (8th), Dub Lane
This season has been a vintage one for Queen’s. One for the old romantics (see we told you there was some about this weekend).
The college sides can typically start slower, build up steam and then peter out as exams loom but Queen’s got off to a flyer on day one and have not really looked back since.
Their game in hand and haul of try-scoring bonus points means it is still possible for them to top the table ahead of an unbeaten Midleton.
The Sutton side will hope to break the spell and with three trypscoring bonuses have shown a willingness to run when opportunity presents, but they may not have the firepower to call a halt to the Belfast students’ march.