The Ulster Bank League season draws to a close this weekend but before the grand finale at Donnybrook on Sunday, there is the matter of promotion and relegation to be settled at Kilballyowen Park and Rosbrien on Saturday.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: Saturday, April 30
DIVISION 1B/2 PROMOTION/RELEGATION PLAY-OFF:
Bruff v Bective Rangers, Kilballyowen Park, 2.30pm
A funny old season for Bruff. The Munster Senior Cup and the Bateman All-Ireland Cup are in the display case but their league form seemed to desert them after Christmas.
They now face a promotion/relegation play-off against Bective Rangers, who finished fifth in Division 2, in order to retain their place in Division 1B.
Bective went about their business in Division 2 with efficiency this season. They could not match the scoring displays of UCD, Ballynahinch, Belfast Harlequins or Ballymena, but they kept up the push for promotion right to the end.
This play-off clash has the air of a cup final about it though and if you are betting person, you cannot really pass up Bruff to take the spoils at home and maintain their presence in Division 1B.
DIVISION 2/3 PROMOTION/RELEGATION PLAY-OFF:
Old Crescent v Banbridge, Rosbrien, 2.30pm
It has been a pretty dismal season for Old Crescent. They only managed two wins in the Ulster Bank League all year and never really got out of the bottom two.
Crescent now face a real scrap to avoid relegation to Division 3, which will be renamed Division 2B next season.
Banbridge will travel to Limerick with a real chance of joining Seapoint, Instonians, City of Derry and Greystones in making the jump.
Those four clubs set a blistering pace in Division 3 all season and it is testament to Bann that they beat Seapoint in the last game to secure this play-off spot and deny the south Dublin club the title.
Form favours the Ulstermen here and with three of their provincial colleagues already promoted to Division 2 and three more promoted to Division 1B, Ulster club rugby really seems to be on the rise again.
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