10-out-of-10 Instonians travel to Dr. Hickey Park this weekend. Can the Wicklow promotion hopefuls stop the Belfast side’s gallop? Irish Rugby TV will be there for the game. Meanwhile, Sunday’s Well will be chasing that play-off/promotion spot at the JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, February 19
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Banbridge (5th) v Nenagh Ormond (9th), Rifle Park
Banbridge recovered from their Rainey result to beat Ards last weekend and are eight points clear of Sunday’s Well.
A result for Instonians in Wicklow means a win here would see Bann move into the top-four and a step closer to promotion.
Nenagh Ormond took a bit of a pasting from Greystones last Saturday and while promotion is off the cards, they are still a handy outfit that can cause problems. Even still, a home triumph is the more likely result.
City of Derry (3rd) v Ards (15th), Judge’s Road
City of Derry’s title hopes took a bashing last Saturday when they lost to a seemingly rejuvenated Rainey Old Boys. They face Ulster opposition again this weekend.
A win here would see them stay as they are or possibly move up the table, but they cannot afford another loss with Greystones and Banbridge hot on their heels.
Ards may be safe from relegation but they could badly do with a morale booster of a win. Judge’s Road probably won’t provide much solace for them.
Connemara (16th) v Rainey Old Boys (8th), Monastery Field
The rebuilding continues for Connemara but it cannot be easy as they struggle to get a win on the board. Still, they posted a healthy 23 points on the back pitch at Aviva Stadium last weekend.
This Saturday they host Rainey Old Boys who seem to have rediscovered their winning ways with victories over Banbridge and City of Derry in recent weeks.
Can the former All-Ireland Junior Cup winners bring this form out of Ulster on Saturday?
Greystones (4th) v Instonians (1st), Dr. Hickey Park
The match of the day in Division 3. Irish Rugby TV will be in attendance for this game as unbeaten Instonians travel to the Co. Wicklow seaside town.
Greystones have started to build some serious momentum and their win over Nenagh Ormond last Saturday shows they have real intent. They have scored more points than anyone in the division and with six try-scoring bonus points they possess a potent attacking threat.
‘Inst will not travel just for fun though and with an unbeaten record to protect they have some serious threats themselves. A humdinger is on the cards at Dr. Hickey Park.
Navan (14th) v Highfield (11th), Balreask Old
A creditable performance from Navan last weekend when they made Instonians work hard for the win. This young side is in transition and will benefit from these outings.
Highfield flirted with the top-four earlier in the season but have slipped down the rankings. They have been good value for their four wins but have struggled at times.
Home advantage may tell for Navan but the Cork side can take the points if they improve on their losing bonus point performance against Seapoint last time out.
NUIM Barnhall (10th) v Wanderers (13th), Parsonstown
Both NUIM Barnhall and Wanderers won last weekend and there was no change in their position in the tables as a result.
The Leixlip side got the better of Sunday’s Well with a brilliant late conversion from captain Eoin Hogan, while Wanderers made good use of the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium to post a deserved win over Connemara.
Given their topsy-turvy form, Wanderers may come off second best at Parsonstown on Saturday, especially if Hogan can inspire his troops again.
Seapoint (2nd) v Naas (7th), Kilbogget Park
Seapoint recovered from their loss to Instonians by hammering out a tough win in Highfield last weekend.
Another tough assignment awaits them on Saturday, but a victory at Kilbogget Park and a result down the N11 in Wicklow could see them take over at the top.
Naas lost at home last Saturday to Suttonians and they are ten points adrift of fifth-placed Banbridge. Saturday could put an end to any slim promotion hopes they have.
Suttonians (12th) v Sunday’s Well (6th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
A win last weekend in Naas and a game in hand means Suttonians can improve on their current ranking by seeing off Sunday’s Well.
Saturday sees the ‘Well come calling and a competitive clash is certainly in the offing.
The ‘Well suffered a late loss in Barnhall last Saturday and will be smarting from that. But even more so, they badly need a win if they are to keep in touch with the promotion pack. Needs must!