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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Division 1B has a curious look to it this season. Four Ulster teams, three from Munster, two from Connacht and a lone Leinster side in the form of UCD. It should make for an interesting season in the Ulster Bank League.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 1

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BELFAST HARLEQUINS v UL BOHEMIANS, Deramore Park

Preview: A difficult first game in the league for a UL Bohs team which has had a disappointing opening to the season in Munster.

They face a Belfast Harlequins side that is unbeaten at the top of the Ulster Senior League. With home advantage, they will fancy their chances of getting off to a winning start.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 14, 2006: Belfast Harlequins 31 UL Bohemians 27, Deramore Park; Saturday, December 16, 2006: UL Bohemians 15 Belfast Harlequins 9, Thomond Park

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

BUCCANEERS v BRUFF, Dubarry Park

Preview: This is sure to be a fierce battle between two hugely-committed sides. Bruff have made a useful opening to the season, beating Shannon away comfortably in the Munster Senior Cup last weekend.

If they can repeat that sort of form they must be in with a great chance of starting their campaign with a win.

But Buccaneers are always very hard to beat on their home track and having missed out on promotion on the last day of the league, they will be gunning for top spot early.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 9, 2010: Bruff 18 Buccaneers 26, Kilballyowen Park; Saturday, January 29, 2011: Buccaneers 35 Bruff 8, Dubarry Park

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

DUNGANNON v UCD, Stevenson Park

Preview: A good test for a UCD side that played a lot of attractive rugby, and scored a lot of tries in Division 2 last season.

Everything suggests that they will again be a force this season but they will need to perform very well to get the better of a Dungannon outfit which is unbeaten to date in the Ulster Senior League.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 3, 2007: UCD 23 Dungannon 13, Belfield; Saturday, October 18, 2008: Dungannon 15 UCD 13, Stevenson Park

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

GALWEGIANS v BALLYNAHINCH, Crowley Park

Preview: Ballynahinch made a big impression when topping Division 2 last season and it is going to be intriguing to see how they perform in Divison 1B this time around.

They will not be helped, however, by the fact that some of their players are required by Ulster. Still they are a resilient team and are always hard to beat.

Galwegians, at home, however represent very tough opposition.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 10, 2009: Ballynahinch 25 Galwegians 24, Ballymacarn Park; Saturday, January 30, 2010: Galwegians 15 Ballynahinch 12, Crowley Park

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

UCC v BALLYMENA, the Mardyke

Preview: Both of these sides have made slow starts to the season. The students, as usual, have had a major turnover of players.

No doubt they will continue to adopt an expansive approach. Ballymena will be hoping that their greater experience in the pack will prove the deciding factor.

Most Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 10, 2009: UCC 28 Ballymena 31, the Mardyke; Saturday, January 30, 2010: Ballymena 19 UCC 10, Eaton Park

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

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League: Division 2A Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Previews