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AIB League: Division 3 Previews

AIB League: Division 3 Previews

The top two are all but set in stone with Queen’s University guaranteed promotion. Midelton need to beat Banbridge, however, to put an end to Bann’s ambitions and there is plenty of action in store from Towns Park to Rifle Park. The AIB League returns this weekend at a club near you!

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, March 27

– Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated

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Ards (12th) v Suttonians (8th), Hamilton Park

In theory, Ards could still be caught by Ports, Naas or Connemara so a home win here would ease their minds in terms of the relegation battle.

Five wins from their 13 matches shows how much they have struggled but they did muster a crucial 17-16 home win over Nenagh Ormond last time out.

Suttonians also managed a big win last time out with a victory that all but ended Banbridge’s promotion chase. Seven wins sees the Dubliners’ balance sheet on the positive side and a win on Saturday could push them up the table.

County Carlow (16th) v Connemara (13th), Oak Park
County Carlow are destined for the drop after a long hard season that has yielded little reward for much endeavour. Time for them to regroup in the junior ranks and come back stronger.
Connemara will travel to Oak Park knowing a win should keep them out of trouble, but only just. Expect an away win here on Saturday for the Galway men.
Instonians (6th) v Wanderers (7th), Shaw’s Bridge
Clem Boyd’s Instonians charges still have a shot at the play-offs, though Nenagh Ormond are unlikely to slip up again. Still, it has been a relatively good campaign for this young ‘Inst side that should come into real contention next season.
Wanderers have managed the same win-loss ratio but fewer bonus points and will rue some poor performances – Navan and Barnhall spring to mind.
This should be a good game as both teams have a point to prove, having lost last time out.
Midelton (2nd) v Banbridge (3rd), Towns Park

Midleton looked dead set for the top spot at the turn of the year but a draw with Rainey Old Boys and a shock defeat at Portadown means they now have to win this game to make promotion a certainty.

They are nine points clear of Banbridge who need to chase a bonus point in their last two games to overhaul the Cork side.

Bann emerged from the chasing pack and with nine wins and six bonus points will be a force to be reckoned with in the play-offs or next season if they cannot quite catch Midleton on Saturday.

They would have been closer still if they had not lost to Suttonians last time out.

Naas (13th) v Barnhall (10th), Forenaughts
It has been a tough season at Forenaughts and it is not over yet. They are just two points ahead of Portadown in the relegation zone and badly need a win in this Kildare derby.
A narrow win over Sunday’s Well last time out was preceded by a loss to Wanderers and a terrific win over Instonians. They need to find that form again this Saturday.
Barnhall may have little enough to play for at this stage of the season but they have never been a side to make up the numbers. Expect a tough encounter and the visitors may just condemn their local rivals.
Navan (9th) v Portadown (15th), Balreask Old
Portadown produced a performance out of the blue earlier this month when they brought Midelton down to earth with a bump.
Can they maintain that level of performance this Saturday? They need to if they are to avoid the relegation play-off.
Navan have survived their post-promotion season and will be aiming to get the balance sheet in better shape on Saturday, but will they have enough in the tank to subdue the Ports?
Nenagh Ormond (4th) v Rainey Old Boys (11th), New Ormond Park
Nenagh Ormond need a minor miracle to get promoted but a win will keep them deservedly in the play-off zone.
They will regret losses such as against Ards in their last game, especially given that they ran Queen’s University pretty close and had real ambitions this season.
Rainey Old Boys are only three points behind Navan in the table and enjoyed a big win over Instonians earlier this month. They will make the trip to Tipp with confidence but expect the home side to take the spoils.
Queen’s University (1st) v Sunday’s Well (5th), Dub Lane
Can anyone stop a buoyant Queen’s side? They are on the cusp of breaking 500 points scored in one season and they have conceded one point shy of a century. Ten try-scoring bonus points from twelve wins and a losing bonus from their one loss, quite a record.

The ‘Well still have a shot at the play-offs but need to win on Saturday to keep the pressure on Nenagh Ormond and Banbridge.

They lost narrowly to Naas in their last game and though they will try, they are unlikely to stop the Queen’s gallop on Saturday.