The action in Division 2B kicks off with a ‘Friday Night Lights’ fixture between hosts Naas and local rivals NUIM Barnhall. On Saturday, there will be Ulster Bank League matches played in Armagh, Cashel and Boyne for the first time.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2B: Saturday, October 8
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Naas (11th) v NUIM Barnhall (13th), Forenaughts, Friday, October 7, 7.30pm
The pride of the northern half of Kildare is at stake in Naas on Friday night when the hosts clash with the Maynooth/Leixlip blend from Parsonstown.
Both sides suffered narrow defeats in their opening games of the season, so this ‘Friday Night Lights’ clash offers a second chance to kickstart the campaign.
There should be a good crowd for this game and it is great to see clubs outside the cities embracing the floodlit games.
Naas are also hosting their annual Business Lunch on Friday afternoon, featuring Welsh legend JPR Williams and Ireland legend Fergus Slattery.
Ards (16th) v Suttonians (14th), Hamilton Park
Another two teams looking to open their win accounts. Last Saturday Ards were roasted by the bonus point-winning Rainey Old Boys, while Suttonians went down to league newcomers Cashel.
Both clubs need as strong a start as possible to avoid the struggles they faced last season and especially if they are to threaten the stronger sides in this division.
Armagh (10th) v Wanderers (15th), Palace Grounds
A first home game in the Ulster Bank League for Armagh should see a big crowd out in force to cheer them on. They were beaten by Sunday’s Well last weekend but expect them to be a stronger prospect at home.
Wanderers missed out on playing on the main pitch at the Aviva Stadium, due to the wet conditions, and they may struggle at the Palace Grounds against what is sure to be a fired-up home side.
Boyne (8th) v Connemara (6th), Shamrock Lodge
The first Ulster Bank League game at Shamrock Lodge could be a real old fashioned cracker. Boyne kicked off their season with an away win over fellow newcomers Sligo last weekend.
This weekend sees Peter Bracken’s Connemara outfit come calling. His presence has already galvanised the side – they won at home to Naas in their Division 2B opener.
These two young sides will play some very honest rugby and this is a game well worth catching if you are in the area.
Cashel (3rd) v Banbridge (4th), Spafield
A tough first home game for Cashel but it offers a chance to test themselves against a side that could be in the mix at the end of the season.
The Bann won narrowly against Navan last weekend while the host team won on the road in Suttonians.
It promises to be an exciting first meeting for these sides and there should be plenty of action on the pitch and a warm welcome off it.
Highfield (5th) v Sunday’s Well (7th), Woodleigh Park
These two Cork sides know each other well so this derby match should see sparks flying. Both sides had three-point wins last weekend, the hosts away to NUIM Barnhall and the visitors at home to Armagh.
Early days yet and the local bragging rights are nearly as important as the league points at this stage of the season.
Navan (12th) v Sligo (9th), Balreask Old
A good start for Navan last Saturday. Despite losing to Banbridge, the Meath men battled to pick up a losing bonus point
Sligo make the trip east for their first away game of the league run. They also picked up a losing bonus last weekend, though they will not be happy that it was at home to Navan’s near neighbours Boyne.
Simon Galvin’s team will be looking to lay down a marker but Navan’s survival skills have been well-honed and this could be a tough game.
Nenagh Ormond (2nd) v Rainey Old Boys (1st), New Ormond Park
Nenagh Ormond missed out on playing at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday but they still picked up a valuable away win over Wanderers.
This weekend they host the only side in the division to pick up a try-scoring bonus point in the opening round – table toppers Rainey Old Boys.
These two former junior clubs are fine examples of the evolving nature of the club game at grassroots level and this promises to be cracking game of club rugby.
Related Links –
Irish Rugby TV on YouTube – Watch all four clubs on our new YouTube channel