Seapoint are breaking the Ulster stranglehold on the top four of Division 3. They host City of Derry in the match of the day at Kilbogget Park this Saturday as the All-Ireland League resumes with a bang.
ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, January 8
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Ards (13th) v Rainey Old Boys (11th), Hamilton Park
An Ulster club derby to blow away the festive cobwebs at Hamilton Park on Saturday.
Neither side has really fired this season with the home club picking up a solitary win in their five games to date.
Rainey have fared slightly better with two wins but they have played six games.
This is likely to be a tight, closely-fought affair with home advantage an aid – but the visitors should be strong enough to squeeze a win.
Greystones (5th) v Suttonians (10th), Dr. Hickey Park
Greystones have been flying under the radar so far this season, but they are only a point outside the top four and have been playing some good rugby with two try-scoring bonus points to their name.
Suttonians will be hoping that their fund raising Fat Turkey Walk over Christmas will have kept them in good shape for the trip to Wicklow, but they face a tough task in reigniting their season.
A home win is on the cards with Reggie Corrigan’s ‘Stones side hoping to capitalise on results elsewhere to climb a place or two in the table.
Instonians (1st) v Sunday’s Well (6th), Shaw’s Bridge (Match postponed due to an unplayable pitch. It will be played on Saturday, January 15)
Instonians sit happily at the top of Division 3 with six wins out of six, but they will not be resting on their laurels when the ‘Well come calling.
Sunday’s Well started the season brightly but have lost their last three games, albeit with two of those defeats to Banbridge and City of Derry. Losing bonus points and two try-scoring bonuses show they mean business.
The Ulster side will have their work cut out for them as the Corkmen aim to get the show back on the road. Expect an exciting, committed game here with a home win the most likely result.
Naas (8th) v Connemara (16th), Forenaughts
Naas are mid-table with three wins and two losses and a points difference of plus eleven. They have had some good results including a win over Sunday’s Well and a bonus point loss to leaders Instonians.
Connemara are winless but maybe a New Year’s resolution or two will help them to kickstart their season. The chink in Naas’ armour is that they sometimes stutter in games they should win.
It is more likely though that the home team will improve their standings at Forenaughts on Saturday.
Navan (15th) v Banbridge (4th), Balreask Old (Match postponed due to an unplayable pitch)
It has not been the happiest of seasons in Navan, their only win so far came at the expense of bottom side Connemara.
Saturday will not bring much relief to the Meath team as fourth-placed Banbridge make the short trip down from Ulster.
They played out a 60-point cracker with Sunday’s Well in their last league match and have three try-scoring bonus points in the bank. Bann look likely to condemn Navan to a losing start to 2011.
Nenagh Ormond (14th) v Wanderers (12th), New Ormond Park
Nenagh Ormond just have not managed to replicate their winning form of last season. That said, they have two games in hand and are probably better than their 14th place positioning suggests.
Saturday sees Wanderers come calling and the Dublin 4 side, with two more games played, are only two points and two places above the men from Tipperary.
The home side have the tightest defence in Division 3 and will see this game as a good chance to start the climb up the table. Home win on the cards.
Seapoint (3rd) v City Of Derry (2nd), Kilbogget Park
Vying with the Cork Constitution v St. Mary’s College clash for match of the day, this one sees the teams in third and second square off.
Seapoint and City of Derry have five wins apiece from their six games to date, and both sides have showed real attacking flair in garnering bonus points and for good measure both have won the All-Ireland Junior Cup in past years.
City of Derry are a point ahead thanks to an extra try-scoring bonus point, but Seapoint have the slight edge in the points against column.
The Derry side beat Seapoint 19-14 in the first round of last season’s Junior Cup, while Seapoint got their revenge in the All-Ireland League provinicial play-offs last March.
A cracking game of rugby is on the cards at Kilbogget Park on Saturday, with the result very hard to call. One score either way is how we see it.