This division has a way to go yet and while Instonians are in pole position there is no easy run in sight for the title. There is also the matter of grabbing one of the four automatic promotion spots to be sorted.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, February 12
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Ards (15th) V Banbridge (5th), Hamilton Park
Not much but pride at stake for Ards at this stage and after last weekend’s result at Greystones they will be in no mood to cough up points again.
Banbridge may yet rue their loss to Rainey last Saturday not least because it allowed ‘Stones to slip into 4th spot.
Bann need a big win this Saturday to keep the game afoot and they should take the points in Hamilton Park.
Highfield (11th) V Seapoint (3rd), Woodleigh Park
Highfield put a dent in Naas’s promotion aspirations last weekend, could they put the kibosh on Seapoint’s title chase this Saturday?
Seapoint have now beaten one and lost to one of the two teams ahead of them in the Division so all they can do is get back to winning ways and stay in the hunt for any slip ups.
The odds favour an away win and Seapoint have shown they can win well on the road.
Instonians (1st) V Navan (14th), Shaw’s Bridge
Nine wins in nine games. Instonians have been hugely impressive this season and they have their fate in their hands.
Navan are struggling this season but their younger players are gaining some invaluable experience this season.
Saturday could be a tough day for the Meath side and while Inst will be full of hospitality before and after the game they should be ruthless for 80 minutes.
Naas (8th) V Suttonians (12th), Forenaughts
Naas will be glad of their game in hand over the teams around them. It gives them a slight advantage in the hunt for a possible promotion spot.
Last weekend saw them lose ground so they will be gunning for a win this weekend.
Suttonians didn’t play last weekend as their game against NUIM Barnhall was postponed but they ebat Ards at the end of January, still a home win is on the cards.
Nenagh Ormond (7th) V Greystones (4th), New Ormond Park
An interesting game this one and a test for both teams. Nenagh Ormond have won their last four league games. They also have a game in hand which means that this is a potentially critical result in the race for promotion.
Greystones come into this game on the back of a big win over Ards though probably more relevant was the recent one point loss to Banbridge.
A win for the home side sees them right in the thick of things while a win for the Wicklow side builds their case for promotion.
Rainey OB (9th) V City Of Derry (2nd), Hatrick Park
Rainey put one over on Banbridge last weekend, can they pull off another big win this weekend?
City of Derry beat Wanderers last Saturday and are poised to pounce if Inst. slip up at home to Navan but can they keep the pressure on with a big performance?
The visitors seem likely to take the points on Saturday but Rainey won’t be an easy touch and may squeeze a bonus point out of them.
Sunday’s Well (6th) V NUIM Barnhall (10th), Musgrave Park
The Well are back to winning ways in their last two outings and seem well placed to fight it out for the rest of the season.
Should results elsewhere go their way a win would see them move into 5th. Still they have to get the result first.
NUIM Barnhall won’t be an easy touch and with a game in hand they will be looking for a win to boost their own chances. A home win is still the more likely outcome though.
Wanderers (13th) V Connemara (16th), Aviva Stadium
Now that Lansdowne’s winning home run has been beaten neighbours Wanderers can look to take up the mantle on the artificial surface of the back pitch at Aviva Stadium.
Their losing bonus point against City of Derry last week was a very good result given the points the Ulster side have amassed this season.
Connemara’s young side may take time to adjust to the surface but it suits teams willing to run. Can they run their hosts out of steam?