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Ulster Bank League: Division 3 Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 3 Previews

The destination of the league title and the final promotion and play-off places will be decided on the last day of Division 3. The game at Rifle Park between Banbridge and Seapoint could decide both, while history will be made with the first ever league match in Maynooth.


Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated >

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Banbridge (5th) v Seapoint (1st), Rifle Park

It is still possible for Banbridge to overtake Greystones in the top four, but it would take an unlikely bonus point win here over a buoyant Seapoint side.

Win or lose Banbridge cannot be caught for the fifth place play-off spot and a shot at either Old Crescent or Thomond.

Seapoint could, however, cap a remarkable first season in the Ulster Bank League by adding the title to the promotion they have already secured. An away win is the most probable result and more plaudits for the south Dublin side.

City Of Derry (3rd) v Naas (10th), Judge’s Road

City of Derry have promotion secured but should results elsewhere go their way, they could still garner the Division 3 title for their trophy cabinet at Judge’s Road.

It would require both Seapoint and Instonians to slip up, but Bevan Lynch’s Derry side will not let up on the intensity.

Naas are secure in mid-table but they have shown themselves capable of causing a problem or two. Still, the home side should finish their campaign on a winning note.

Connemara (16th) v Highfield (12th), Monastery Field

With no relegation this season, Connemara will retain their Ulster Bank League status and look for an improved showing in 2011/12.

The job of rebuilding goes on but next season will pose problems as Sligo, Cashel, Boyne and Cooke or Armagh come up.

It has been a mixed season for Connemara’s opponents this weekend. Highfield will have to look to next season also. An away win looks on the cards here, but Connemara would look to nick their first victory on the last day.

Greystones (4th) v Navan (15th), Dr. Hickey Park

An encouraging season for Greystones should see them finish on a high and secure promotion. They only need a point to go up.

Reggie Corrigan’s men have shown their willingness to run the ball and have notched up 471 points so far – second only to Ballynahinch across all four divisions.

Navan have found the going tough this season. Still, with no relegation, the new coaching staff and young players know what challenges lie ahead – particularly with near neighbours Boyne gaining promotion for next season.

Greystones should be the side celebrating come the final whistle at Dr. Hickey Park, with the lure of promotion driving them on.

NUIM Barnhall (9th) v Instonians (2nd), NUI Maynooth

A gala day on the cards for the final league game of the season as NUIM Barnhall live up to their new moniker by playing their first game at the College Campus in Maynooth.

It is a brave move from the Leixlip club and will help to cement the ties with the college that should further increase their playing pool for next season.

Instonians will travel with intent though and may spoil the party as they chase the Division 3 title, with promotion already secured. A worthy initiative and spreading the rugby gospel should draw a big crowd for this historic day.

Sunday’s Well (8th) v Nenagh Ormond (7th), Musgrave Park

Sunday’s Well and Nenagh Ormond both showed some early promise but found the going tough as the season went on. They should also be better placed to challenge next season.

There is not much to choose between these Munster rivals and with Cashel joining the league ranks next season the heat will be on.

Home advantage could prove crucial for the ‘Well but Nenagh have looked lively this season and will be determined to close out the campaign with a big performance.

Suttonians (11th) v Rainey Old Boys (6th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds

Suttonians can always be relied upon to put on a good show and the club is a vital hub in the local community – this Saturday’s ‘Family Fun Day Out’ is evidence of that.

Head coach Robert Forbes and his players would have hoped for more from the season, and they will be very keen to post a final day win. Especially with the experienced David Walsh, Darragh Mulligan and Daire Higgins all set to retire.

Rainey Old Boys’ charge came just too late to secure anything tangible like promotion, but if they can maintain that form into next season they could be setting the tone for the league.

If they can spoil the party for Suttonians, Rainey will end the season with their seventh league win on the trot.

Wanderers (13th) v Ards (14th), Aviva Stadium back pitch

13th plays 14th at the home of Irish rugby and there will be just pride on the line for Wanderers and Ards this Saturday afternoon.

An extra win and losing bonus point is all that separates these sides in the table, although Ards are well behind in terms of scoring difference.

That losing bonus point came against Suttonians last month and Wanderers and Ards are both winless in the league since February.

Director of rugby Greg McWilliams has been on a learning curve in his season in charge of Wanderers, and the Dubliners will no doubt have been working hard to produce a final day flourish.

Ards will be on pushovers though – they proved that at home to Sunday’s Well most recently when going down by just three points. Look out for former Ulster winger Scott Young in the Ards back-line.

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League Division 3 Table