The last three rounds of games and things are as tight as ever at the top of Division 3. Seapoint and Instonians are separated by points difference, while Greystones and City Of Derry are hot on their heels. Match of the day has to be the Ulster derby at Judge’s Road.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, March 26
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
City of Derry (4th) v Instonians (2nd), Judge’s Road
Match of the day in Division 3 and one of the league’s most-anticipated games this weekend. This one has all the right ingredients.
An Ulster derby, two teams chasing promotion, eleven try-scoring bonus points between them – there could be sparks flying at Judge’s Road on Saturday afternoon.
A win either way could go a long way to deciding the title and the promotions spots with only two matches left after this weekend.
Connemara (16th) v Nenagh Ormond (8th), Monastery Field
Another step on the road to recovery for bottom side Connemara and a steep learning curve for the Galway club’s young squad.
They are still chasing their first win but they are putting in the foundations for a recovery next season.
Nenagh Ormond are sitting nicely in mid-table and would need a series of unlikely results to get into the fifth place play-off spot, but they will not give up the ghost just yet.
Greystones (3rd) v Naas (9th), Dr. Hickey Park
Wicklow against Kildare at Dr. Hickey Park this Saturday and plenty at stake in this all-Leinster clash.
Greystones have really clicked this season under former Leinster and Ireland prop Reggie Corrigan. They have won nine of their twelve games and amassed an impressive eight try-scoring bonus points. They are just two points behind table toppers Seapoint and Instonians.
Naas are good enough to trouble any team in the division and will be hoping for an upset on Saturday. But with Greystones on a roll, a home win is most likely.
Navan (15th) v Seapoint (1st), Balreask Old
Navan are a team in transition and the welcome relief of no relegation means that this is the season to rebuild. It has not been easy but with the scars comes experience.
They will need every ounce of that on Saturday afternoon when league leaders Seapoint, who have won their last three games, come calling.
Seapoint gained promotion to the Ulster Bank League last season but have charged straight ahead and look odds on to climb another level this season. A victory at the Meath venue will keep them in pole position.
NUIM Barnhall (10th) v Ards (14th), Parsonstown
Barnhall had a good win earlier this month when seeing off Suttonians by five points. Their opponents on Saturday, Ards, also had a win in their last game when beating Connemara by two in a thrilling 60-pointer.
Pride and position are the only things at stake for both clubs but neither side will shirk the challenge with the home side favourites to take the points.
Sunday’s Well (7th) v Rainey Old Boys (6th), Musgrave Park
Both Sunday’s Well and Rainey Old Boys are still in with a chance of finishing fifth and securing a play-off shot at promotion.
The ‘Well have stuttered slightly, losing to Suttonians but then beating Wanderers. Rainey, by contrast, have come with a late season surge that has seen them win their last four games.
Musgrave Park should see some good rugby as both sides have secured try-scoring bonus points and will be keen to keep the winning run going.
Suttonians (12th) v Wanderers (13th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
Three points separate Suttonians and Wanderers in the bottom half of the table and both come into the game having lost in their last outing.
Suttonians were beaten by Barnhall at the start of the month, while Wanderers lost to Sunday’s Well at the end of February.
A difficult one to call but Suttonians probably have a slight edge in this Northside v Southside encounter.
Banbridge (5th) v Highfield (11th), Rifle Park (Match refixed for Saturday, April 9)