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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Buccaneers’ win last time out kept them in contention for the play-off spot but it is the relegation zone that features this Saturday with the three bottom clubs all facing difficult games – not least Dungannon, who travel to leaders Clontarf.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, February 12

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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CLONTARF (1st) v DUNGANNON (6th), Castle Avenue

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Clontarf: WWWLWWWWL; Dungannon: LLWWWLLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Clontarf: Points: Noel Reid 64; Tries: Michael Keating 5; Dungannon: Points: Paddy Jackson 70; Tries: Craig Gilroy, Conor Gaston 4 each

Preview: A chance for Bernard Jackman’s Clontarf side to get back to winning ways after their five-point loss at Dubarry Park last Saturday.

Dungannon are evenly-balanced with four wins and four losses so far, but it shows just how tight this eight-team league can be that a defeat here could see them slip into the red zone.

‘Tarf should be strong enough at home to take the points though, and should at least maintain their lead at the top of the table.

Most Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 30, 2010: Dungannon 30 Clontarf 17, Stevenson Park

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

GALWEGIANS (8th) v LANSDOWNE (3rd), Crowley Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Galwegians: WLLLLLWLL; Lansdowne: LWLWLLWLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: John Cleary 42; Tries: Ja Naughton 2; Lansdowne: Points: Eoghan Hickey 116; Tries: Matt Healy 4

Preview: Galwegians are struggling in this division. They beat UCC last month, but have since lost to Dungannon and Clontarf.

Lansdowne were finally beaten on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium last weekend and are now in danger of losing their grasp on third place in the table.

The Galway side will be hoping that they can capitalise on Lansdowne’s poor away record and inflict another defeat, but the headquarters side should have the firepower to swing this result.

Most Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 30, 2010: Lansdowne 45 Galwegians 14, Aviva Stadium back pitch

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Lansdowne to win by 1-5 points

UCC (7th) v BUCCANEERS (2nd), the Mardyke

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UCC: WLLLLWLWL; Buccaneers: WWLWWWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UCC: Points: Andrew Burke 60; Tries: James Ryan 3; Buccaneers: Points: Adam Kennedy 50; Tries: John O’Brien, Kolo Kiripati 4 each

Preview: UCC badly need a win if they are to pull out of the relegation zone but, on current form, Buccaneers should prove too strong for the hosts at the Mardyke.

Buccs travel with confidence after their victory over Clontarf, and Hendre Marnitz’s men also have a game-in-hand. They know that a win on Saturday keeps them on course.

If either side is looking to the past for inspiration, it might interest them to know that the Mardyke was the scene of Ireland’s biggest ever win over France in the Championship, a 24-0 success way back in 1913.

Most Recent Meetings – Saturday, December 12, 2009: UCC 25 Buccaneers 6, the Mardyke; Saturday, March 27, 2010: Buccaneers 18 UCC 11, Dubarry Park; Saturday, October 30, 2010: Buccaneers 45 UCC 15, Dubarry Park

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

UL BOHEMIANS (4th) v BRUFF (5th), Annacotty

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UL Bohemians: LWWLLLLWW; Bruff: LLWWWWLLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: JJ Hanrahan 62; Tries: Martin McPhail 3; Bruff: Points: Brian Cahill 76; Tries: Cathal O’Regan 3

Preview: An interesting game this and what promises to be a well-contested Limerick derby. Both teams have 20 points, though Bruff have won more games.

UL Bohemians are without half-backs JJ Hanrahan and Cathal Sheridan who are on duty with the Ireland Under-20s and Munster respectively. Ian Costello’s youngsters outfought Lansdowne in Dublin last time out, and have squeezed a losing bonus point in three games to date.

Last Saturday saw Bruff get back on the winning trail at home to UCC and they will fancy their chances of returning home victorious. Brian Cahill’s boot may shade it for them.

Most Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 30, 2010: Bruff 14 UL Bohemians 13, Kilballyowen Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Bruff to win by 1-5 points

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Table