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All-Ireland League: Division 3 Previews

All-Ireland League: Division 3 Previews

There are plenty of treats on offer in All-Ireland League Division 3 this weekend, with leaders City of Derry travelling to fifth-placed Greystones and promotion hopefuls Naas hosting in-form Sunday’s Well, who sit second in the table.

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, October 30

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BANBRIDGE (10th) v SUTTONIANS (12th), Rifle Park

Banbridge put it up to pacesetters City of Derry last weekend, establishing a 13-0 lead early in the second half. But Daniel Soper’s charges fell away over the remainder, with the Derrymen dominating and going on to seal a 36-16 win.

Colin Bickerstaff, Michael Cromie and Ben Purvis all returned from injury last time out, adding to Soper’s options for the visit of the north Dubliners.

Suttonians drew 10-10 with Nenagh Ormond in round 3, after a narrow home loss to Instonians and a heavy 40-point beating away to Derry. Bann probably have too much in their armoury, and home advantage tips it in their balance.

GREYSTONES (5th) v CITY OF DERRY (1st), Dr. Hickey Park

After claiming back-to-back league wins over NUIM Barnhall and Connemara, Reggie Corrigan’s Greystones side face their stiffest challenge yet in the form of table toppers City of Derry.

Out-half Ross Spillane kicked four penalties and converted tries from fellow backs, Simon Malone, Ronan Carroll and Andrew Kealy, as ‘Stones secured a 33-13 triumph at Connemara last Saturday.

Corrigan’s charges are making progress, but Derry’s early season run suggests that this could be a tough afternoon for the home side. Greystones and City of Derry have met on seven occasions in the All-Ireland League, with the Judge’s Road residents winning four of those games.

Previewing Saturday’s clash, City of Derry coach Bevan Lynch said: “It is always a difficult fixture for us at Greystones, especially after recruiting heavily at the end of last season following relegation.

“They ran Sunday’s Well close in the first game of the season and we always knew it would take a few games for this team to gel and they would expect to beat any team in this league at home.

“We learnt a few lessons (against Banbridge) last Saturday, having missed early chances and allowing the opposition to stifle our style of play.”

Derry, who face Ballynahinch in next weekend’s Ulster Senior Cup semi-finals, should extend their winning streak at Dr. Hickey Park, but a bonus point make prove beyond them.

HIGHFIELD (7th) v WANDERERS (8th), Woodleigh Park

Wanderers chalked up their second win of the league campaign last time out, beating Naas 18-14 in their first game on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch. A try from winger Luke Halpin, in the 31st minute, gave them a decent platform at half-time (10-0).

Their full-back Andrew Wallace is kicking well and will look to punish any indiscretions from Saturday’s hosts, Highfield. The Corkmen ran out 23-6 victors at Rainey Old Boys in their third round fixture, their New Zealand full-back David Walker notching two tries.

Coached by former Ireland forwards coach Niall O’Donovan, Highfield have recovered from a disappointing first outing against Nenagh Ormond to post two successive wins and the odds are with them making it a third.

INSTONIANS (3rd) v RAINEY OLD BOYS (15th), Shaw’s Bridge

Rainey Old Boys are one of five teams still looking for their first win in Division 3, on the back of last weekend’s 23-6 loss at the hands of Highfield.

The men from Magherafelt, for whom full-back Mark O’Connor has kicked well, have a single point in the bank courtesy of a tight 25-19 defeat to Naas.

Instonians are flying high after three wins on the trot, and have to be backed for the win here. Clem Boyd’s side accounted for Ards in their most recent games, helped on their way by tries from Gary Mitchell, Stephen Douglas and Michael Sergeant.

These sides are also scheduled to meet in the Ulster Senior League on November 20.

NAAS (6th) v SUNDAY’S WELL (2nd), Forenaughts

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NAVAN (14th) v CONNEMARA (16th), Balreask Old

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NENAGH ORMOND (11th) v ARDS (13th), New Ormond Park (Match postponed)

* As a mark of respect at the passing of Ards head coach Cois Beukes, all fixtures involving Ards RFC on Saturday, October 30 have been postponed. All postponed games will be played at a later date.

Our deepest sympathies are extended to Cois’ wife Rachel, daughter Naomi and the wider family circle at this difficult time.

SEAPOINT (4th) v NUIM BARNHALL (9th), Kilbogget Park

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