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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Big games abound in Division 1B with Bruff scrapping for form ahead of an All-Ireland Cup final date, UL Bohemians and Dungannon aiming for a play-off spot and of course the winners-take-all promotion clash on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.


Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BRUFF (8th) v CLONTARF (1st), Kilballyowen Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Bruff: LLWWWWLLWLLLL; Clontarf: WWWLWWWWLWWWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Bruff: Points: Brian Cahill 84; Tries: Cathal O’Regan, Brendan Deady 3 each; Clontarf: Points: Noel Reid 93; Tries: Michael Keating, Aaron Dundon 5 each

Preview: Hard to believe that Bruff find themselves bottom of the table after a season which has seen them win the Munster Senior Cup and reach the final of the Bateman All-Ireland Cup.

They trail Galwegians by two points and UCC by three. Consequently, a victory is essential if they are to avoid propping up the table and going into a play-off encounter against the fifth-placed side in Division 2.

It will be interesting to see how leaders Clontarf approach the game, given that they have already achieved their targets of winning the division and qualifying for the Division 1 semi-finals. Bernard Jackman’s side wil want to finish with a flourish.

Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 2, 2010: Clontarf 26 Bruff 11, Castle Avenue

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

DUNGANNON (5th) v UCC (6th), Stevenson Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dungannon: LLWWWLLWLLWWW; UCC: WLLLLWLWLWLWL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: Paddy Jackson 70; Tries: Conor Gaston 6; UCC: Points: Andrew Burke 77; Tries: John Ryan 4

Preview: Once again there is a lot at stake here. Fifth-placed Dungannon are still in with a chance of snatching third spot if other results go their way and they have the Bateman All-Ireland Cup final a week later to think about.

UCC, for their part, lie third-from-bottom and could need a result to avoid Galwegians and Bruff moving ahead of them. They will not find it easy against a Dungannon outfit which has put together a very good run of recent form.

‘Gannon have mustered successive victories over Buccaneers in the last couple of weeks. They must start this game as favourites on the basis that they have home advantage.

Recent Meetings – Saturday, October 31, 2009: UCC 20 Dungannon 3, Stevenson Park; Saturday, January 23, 2010: Dungannon 3 UCC 21, Stevenson Park; Saturday, October 2, 2010: UCC 33 Dungannon 29, the Mardyke

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

GALWEGIANS (7th) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), Crowley Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Galwegians: WLLLLLWLLLWWW; UL Bohemians: LWWLLLLWWWWLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: John Cleary 56; Tries: John Cleary 3; UL Bohemians: Points: JJ Hanrahan 67; Tries: Darren Moroney 5

Preview: Galwegians, written off not so long ago, have put together three victories to move off the bottom of the table.

A further win and the men from Glenina will have managed a remarkable escape. But they will face a very tough task against a UL Bohemians side that is hoping to secure the vital third spot in the table and a play-off for promotion to Divison 1A.

Last weekend’s 20-15 away success over Clontarf showed how good this UL Bohs side can be. This has all the makings of a smashing match.

Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 2, 2010: UL Bohemians 13 Galwegians 14, Thomond Park

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

LANSDOWNE (2nd) v BUCCANEERS (3rd), Aviva Stadium back pitch

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Lansdowne: LWLWLLWLLWWLW; Buccaneers: WWLWWWWWLLLLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers Lansdowne: Points: Eoghan Hickey 161; Tries: Matt Healy 7; Buccaneers: Points: Adam Kennedy 58; Tries: John O’Brien 9

Preview: A straight shootout between the second and third-placed teams to decide who gets the second automatic promotion spot behind table toppers Clontarf.

The way things have been going for Bucaneers, following a a dreadful run of defeats, you would have to say that Lansdowne are favourites.

Importantly, they have a top class goal-kicker in former provincial player Eoghan Hickey and home advantage on the back pitch at Aviva Stadium that has proved difficult for many first-time visitors.

The winning side here will be promoted, the losers will be looking at results elsewhere to see if they still have a play-off shot.

Recent Meeting – Saturday, October 2, 2010: Buccaneers 22 Lansdowne 16, Dubarry Park

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