Division 2A has a very different look this season. Will the new boys push on or will they find life just that bit tougher? There is action from Judge’s Road to Towns Park and points in between.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 3: Saturday, October 1
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
City Of Derry v Terenure College, Judge’s Road
City of Derry stormed back into the old Division 3 two seasons ago and then took top spot last season. Can they continue their march in Division 2A?
Terenure College finished mid-table last season and this will be a stern opening test for the Dublin side’s ambitions.
The hosts have won three out of five in the Ulster Senior League and look set to begin their Ulster Bank League campaign with an encouraging home win.
De La Salle Palmerston v Thomond, Kirwan Park
An interesting game to kick off the new season. De La Salle Palmerston finished mid-table last season while Thomond narrowly avoided relegation.
DLSP won convincingly in the same fixture in Limerick last season and will hope to kick off their campaign with a similar result.
Thomond need a good start if they are to avoid the struggles of last season, but a home victory looks likely for ‘Salmo.
Dublin University v Greystones, College Park
Dublin University were also mid-table finishers last season. They have lost USA international Scott LaValla to the Rugby World Cup and Stade Francais, but their win in the IRFU Club Sevens shows they have pace.
Greystones lost only four games in Division 3 last season. Reggie Corrigan’s men will be hoping to make their mark in Division 2B and what better place to start than at College Park?
Malone v Clonakilty, Gibson Park
Only a point separated these two teams at the bottom end of the table last season. Despite finishing two places lower, Clonakilty won well in the corresponding fixture last season.
Malone have won two from five in the Ulster Senior League so far this season and will have revenge on their minds at Gibson Park.
Both sides need a good run this season as there are four strong clubs up from the old Division 3. Malone could gain revenge here for last year’s reversal.
Midleton v Corinthians, Towns Park
Two teams that will be hoping to improve on last season. Midleton finished in 11th place but looked a better side and could kick on this season.
Corinthians finished sixth overall and scored an impressive five try-scoring bonus points last season.
It was a tight affair last February with the Galway side winning by 18-12. Expect a similar result in this weekend’s opener in east Cork.
Old Wesley v Old Crescent, Donnybrook
Old Wesley struggled to make an impact last season, finishing a disappointing 13th in the standings. Discipline was a key factor for them and they will have worked hard to improve for this season.
Old Crescent managed only two wins in the league last season and they lost at home to Wesley in February.
This should be a good indicator for both coaches as to where their sides stand. Expect a fiercely competitive encounter as an opening day win could give a telling boost to either’s confidence.
Queen’s University v Instonians, Dub Lane
Originally scheduled for a ‘Friday Night Lights’ spot, this game is now on Saturday due to a problem with the lights.
Queen’s University consolidated their position last season after a barnstorming run in Division 3 the season before. Can they improve on their seventh place finish?
Instonians will pose a big challenge in their first game after promotion last season. An away win could be on the cards in this mouth-watering Ulster derby.
Seapoint v Bective Rangers, Kilbogget Park
A really interesting Dublin duel is on the cards at Kilbogget Park. Seapoint have come from the Leinster qualifying league through Division 3 in successive seasons.
Bective finished a respectable fifth last season but will need to rack up a few more try-scoring bonus points if they are to be a force this time around.
Seapoint will be looking for a Dublin scalp in their first game in Division 2A and this promises to be an intriguing game, with possibly the place-kickers to decide it.
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