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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

This weekend’s Division 1B programme kicks off at Stevenson Park with a mouth-watering Ulster derby between Dungannon and table toppers Ballynahinch. The action continues on Saturday at Kilballyowen Park, Dubarry Park, Crowley Park and the Mardyke.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 15

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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DUNGANNON (3rd) v BALLYNAHINCH (1st), Stevenson Park, Friday October 14, 7.30pm

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dungannon: WL; Ballynahinch: WW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 15; Tries: Derek Hall 2; Ballynahinch: Points: James Lash 23; Tries: James Thompson, Stuart Morrow 2 each

Preview: A Friday Night Lights encounter to kick off a great weekend of club rugby. Dungannon brought their unbeaten Ulster Senior League form into the opening week of the Ulster Bank League to see off UCD.

Last weekend they went down to UL Bohemians and will be anxious for a dose of home comfort as they look to immediately return to winning ways.

By contrast Ballynahinch had won two, lost one and drawn one coming into the league. In recent weeks, the County Down side have impressively won their opening two games and racked up their first try-scoring bonus point of the season.

Expect sparks to fly at Stevenson Park tonight. Both back-lines have been motoring well and showing off their finishing skills to date, but it may well be up front where this Ulster derby is decided.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 24, 2009: Dungannon 13 Ballynahinch 8, Stevenson Park; Saturday, February 13, 2010: Ballynahinch 35 Dungannon 11, Ballymacarn Park

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

BRUFF (5th) v BALLYMENA (6th), Kilballyowen Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Bruff: LW; Ballymena: WL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Bruff: Points: Brian Cahill 11; Tries: John Shine 2; Ballymena: Points: Alasdair Frazer, Richard Aingworth, David O’Hara 5 each; Tries: Alasdair Frazer, Richard Aingworth 1 each

Preview: Bruff are a hard team to beat, especially at home. Peter Malone’s charges picked up a losing bonus point on the road in week one and beat Galwegians last weekend.

The Braidmen travel on the back of defeat at home to Buccaneers, who beat Bruff first time out by a similar margin.

The two sides are locked together on five points with a victory and a defeat apiece. Bruff, however, will surely fancy their chances at home.

Recent League Meetings – N/A

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

BUCCANEERS (2nd) v UCD (8th), Dubarry Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: WW; UCD: LW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 13; Tries: Paul Harte, Conor Lavelle, Garrett Halligan, Martin Staunton 1 each; UCD: Points: Niall Earls 16; Tries: Sam Coghlan Murray 2

Preview: Buccaneers, second from top with two wins, are flying high. Everyone knows how good they are at home, but Hendre Marnitz’s side proved their worth on the road by defeating Ballymena last time out.

UCD, however, are always dangerous opponents, particularly if the conditions are good. The students’ confidence was given an important boost by their 23-16 success over UCC last weekend.

Buccs missed out on promotion on the final day of last season so they are real contenders for the title this term. A home win would put them on the road nicely.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, April 7, 2007: Buccaneers 16 UCD 37, Dubarry Park; Saturday, January 24, 2009: UCD 30 Buccaneers 24, Belfield

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

GALWEGIANS (10th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (7th), Crowley Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Galwegians: LL; Belfast Harlequins: WL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Galwegians: Points: Tadhg Leader 24; Tries: Tadhg Leader 1; Belfast Harlequins: Points: Michael Heaney 20; Tries: Rory Scholes, Richard Lutton 1 each

Preview: Bottom of the table Galwegians badly need a win. That will not be easy against a useful Belfast Harlequins team which has a won one, lost one record.

That loss came against the league leaders Ballynahinch last weekend. In week one they beat a handy looking UL Bohs outfit who in turn beat third placed Dungannon

So, if Galwegians are to secure an overdue victory, they are surely going to have to show a big improvement here. The verdict has to go with the visitors.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 10, 2005: Belfast Harlequins 34 Galwegians 0, Deramore Park; Saturday, October 14, 2006: Galwegians 29 Belfast Harlequins 8, Crowley Park

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

UCC (9th) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), the Mardyke

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UCC: LL; UL Bohemians: LW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UCC: Points: Brian Kingston 11; Tries: Brian O’Callaghan 1; UL Bohemians: Points: JJ Hanrahan 24; Tries:

Preview: UCC are another team looking for their first victory of the new league campaign. They currently lie second last in the table following successive defeats to Ballymena and UCD.

UL Bohemians, by contrast, saw their confidence boosted by their 12-5 victory over Dungannon. Prop David Kilcoyne was outstanding, while promising out-half JJ Hanrahan contributed four penalties.

The Cork students will not want to lose an intervarsity game for the second week running, but their Limerick counterparts look to have more firepower.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 27, 2010: UCC 32 UL Bohemians 23, the Mardyke; Saturday, February 26, 2011: UL Bohemians 20 UCC 23, Thomond Park

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

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League: Division 2A Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Previews