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AIB League: Division 1 Semi-Final Previews

AIB League: Division 1 Semi-Final Previews

Can Cork Constitution keep their AIB League and Cup double dreams alive, or will their local rivals Dolphin cause a shock at Temple Hill? The heat will also be on at Templeville Road as familiar foes St. Mary’s College and Old Belvedere go head-to-head for the prize of a place in the Division 1 decider.

AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1 SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, April 17

CORK CONSTITUTION (1st) v DOLPHIN (3rd), Temple Hill, 2.30pm

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AIB League Season’s Form – Cork Constitution: LWLWWWWWDWWLWW; Dolphin: WWWLLWLWWLLWWW
AIB League Top Scorers – Cork Constitution: Points: Scott Deasy 72; Tries: Richie Lane 7; Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 86; Tries: Sam Cronin 4 

Preview: The sides have one win each from their two meetings in the league campaign. Dolphin got home 13-12 on the opening weekend, but Cork Constitution took revenge with a 23-13 victory at Temple Hill last Saturday.

On the basis of that result and the fact that they finished top of the table, Cork Con must be fancied. Some of their rugby when they scored three tries through Cronan Healy, Tom Gleeson and Duncan Williams in the first half last Saturday, was outstanding.

What’s more, they will again be playing at home. But Munster’s trip to face Connacht at the Sportsground on Sunday is sure to prove vitally important. Both teams have quite a few players in the Munster squad, and they now face anxious waits to see just who is available.

CORK CONSTITUTION: AN Other; Richie Lane, Alex Ryan, Evan Ryan (capt), Cronan Healy; Darragh Lyons, Duncan Williams; Martin Gately, Robert Quinn, Stephen Archer, Merle O’Connell, Brian Hayes, Ian Nagle, Ed Leamy, Frank Cogan.

DOLPHIN: Niall O’Driscoll; Rory Kenneally, Kevin Lynch, Eric Moloney, Paul Hurley; Barry Keeshan (capt), Sam Cronin; Ronan O’Neill, Andrew O’Driscoll, Christy Condon, Chris Rowe, Kyle O’Dwyer, George Finn, Fraser Stone, Robbie Allen.

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Cork Constitution to win: 2/7; Draw: 20/1; Dolphin to win: 5/2

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Cork Constitution to win by 6-10 points

Related Links –

Cork Con Win Semi-Final Dress Rehearsal

Dolphin Deny Cork Con At The Death

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (2nd) v OLD BELVEDERE (1st, Division 1B), Templeville Road, 2.05pm (live RTE Two)

AIB League Season’s Form – St. Mary’s College: WWWWLWLLLLWWWW; Old Belvedere: WWDWLWWLWWWWWW
AIB League Top Scorers – St. Mary’s College: Points: Gavin Dunne 112; Tries: Robin Copeland 9; Old Belvedere: Points: Andy Dunne 82; Tries: David Mongan 15

Preview: St. Mary’s College director of rugby Peter Smyth has rightly pointed out that the Division 1B winners Old Belvedere represent very dangerous opponents. When the two sides met in this season’s Leinster Senior League Cup final, St. Mary’s won a hard-fought encounter 9-3.

They can expect another difficult match this time, although his involvement with the Leinster team against the Ospreys on Friday, will deprive Old Belvedere of Fergus McFadden. Hopefully though, they will be able to call on their other centre Eoin O’Malley, who could be named among the Leinster replacements.

St. Mary’s will undoubtedly go in as favourites, especially as they will have home advantage. Furthermore, they hope to be at full strength, with free-scoring winger Darragh Fanning expected to be fully recovered from the injury which ruled him out of last weekend’s victory over Clontarf.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE: Gavin Dunne; Ronan Doherty, Stephen Grissing, Mark Sexton, Darragh Fanning; Shaun McCarthy, Conor McPhillips; Jack McGrath, Richard Sweeney, Robert Sweeney, Gareth Logan, Robin Copeland, Damian Hall, Paul Nash, Hugh Hogan (capt).

OLD BELVEDERE: tbc

Match Odds (Paddy Power): St. Mary’s College to win: 3/10: Draw: 20/1; Old Belvedere to win: 12/5

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: St. Mary’s College to win by 1-5 points

Related Links –

Smyth Keen For ‘Belvo Showdown

St. Mary’s Beat ‘Belvo For Leinster Cup Title