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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

There is something at stake for all Division 1B clubs this weekend from promotion to relegation to building for a cup title. Match fo the day could be at Kilballyowen Park, but there will be top class action at Dubarry Park, Castle Avenue and the Mardyke also.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, March 26

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BRUFF (7th) v LANSDOWNE (3rd), Kilballyowen Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Bruff: LLWWWWLLWLLL; Lansdowne: LWLWLLWLLWWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Bruff: Points: Brian Cahill 84; Tries: Cathal O’Regan, Brendan Deady 3 each; Lansdowne: Points: Eoghan Hickey 155; Tries: Matt Healy 7

Preview: A big match for both teams for very different reasons. Bruff have suddenly dropped down the table into second last spot, just two points ahead of bottom side Galwegians.

Lansdowne, by contrast, are still right there with a real chance of promotion. They lie third, and with the way things have gone for Buccaneers recently, the headquarters club could yet overhaul them in second place.

But first they must beat Bruff away and that may not be at at all straightforward. The Limerick outfit will be right up for this game and with the Bateman All-Ireland Cup final in two weeks’ time, they will want to get back to winning ways.

Most Recent Meetings – Division 2 – Saturday, October 10, 2009: Bruff 13 Lansdowne 54, Kilballyowen Park; Saturday, May 8, 2010: Division 2 final: Lansdowne 17 Bruff 10, Anglesea Road; Saturday, January 8, 2011: Lansdowne 30 Bruff 18, Aviva Stadium back pitch

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

BUCCANEERS (2nd) v DUNGANNON (5th), Dubarry Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: WWLWWWWWLLL; Dungannon: LLWWWLLWLLWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Adam Kennedy 58; Tries: John O’Brien 8; Dungannon: Points: Paddy Jackson 70; Tries: Conor Gaston 6

Preview: This will be the second time this month that these two sides have met in the Ulster Bank League.

Dungannon won a thrilling encounter 28-25 at Stevenson Park on March 5 when the two sides shared eight tries. The last of them, from full-back Conor Gaston three minutes from time, gave Dungannon a narrow victory.

Second-placed Buccaneers desperately need to end their losing run which has seen them fall 10 points behind leaders Clontarf.

With home advantage, Buccs will probably fancy they can secure that overdue victory, but Dungannon are also building towards the Bateman All-Ireland Cup final. Is an upset on the cards?

Most Recent Meetings – Saturday, November 14, 2009: Dungannon 27 Buccaneers 3, Stevenson Park; Saturday, February 20, 2010: Buccaneers 15 Dungannon 10, Dubarry Park; Saturday, March 5, 2011: Dungannon 28 Buccaneers 25, Stevenson Park

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

CLONTARF (1st) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), Castle Avenue

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Clontarf: WWWLWWWWLWWW; UL Bohemians: LWWLLLLWWWWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Clontarf: Points: Noel Reid 93; Tries: Michael Keating, Aaron Dundon 5 each; UL Bohemians: Points: JJ Hanrahan 62; Tries: Martin McPhail, Darren Moroney 4 each

Clontarf will be in the pink  for Action Breast CancerPreview: Leaders Clontarf only need a point to make certain of finishing top and thereby gaining a spot in the Division 1 play-offs.

But they will be looking for much more than that in front of their home fans. Their last outing, a 23-16 away success over Lansdowne, was one of their best displays of the season.

UL Bohemians could represent difficult opponents, particularly if their dangerous backs division see enough of the ball.

‘Tarf will be ‘in the pink’ this weekend when they don a limited edition jersey to raise money for Action Breast Cancer. The replica is also on sale in the club shop and is selling fast.

Most Recent Meetings – Division 1A – Saturday, October 24, 2009: UL Bohemians 3 Clontarf 8, Thomond Park; Saturday, January 16, 2010: Clontarf 21 UL Bohemians 12, Castle Avenue; Saturday, January 8, 2011: UL Bohemians 12 Clontarf 16, Annacotty

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

UCC (6th) v GALWEGIANS (8th), Mardyke

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UCC: WLLLLWLWLWLW; Galwegians: WLLLLLWLLLWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UCC: Points: Andrew Burke 77; Tries: John Ryan 4; Galwegians: Points: John Cleary 46; Tries: Ja Naughton, Dave Nolan 2 each

Preview: Bottom-placed Galwegians have managed a late surge which has seen them move to within two points of Bruff. Wins over Buccs and Bruff in recent weeks have given a glimmer of hope.

If would be quite an effort if they could secure a further victory, away to UCC. But the students have show themselves to be a useful outfit in the second half of the season and are generally at their best at the Mardyke.

A win on Saturday for the Galway side could see the decision go to the wire on the last weekend. Backs to the wall for both teams at the Mardyke.

Most Recent Meetings – Saturday, October 24, 2009: Galwegians 11 UCC 19, Crowley Park; Saturday, January 16, 2010: UCC 19 Galwegians 13, the Mardyke; Saturday, January 15, 2011: Galwegians 13 UCC 6, Crowley Park

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

Related Links –

Division 2 Previews

Division 3 Previews