Trinity lead the way with three games left but the clash between Greystones and Seapoint could go a long way to deciding who gets promoted with only four points separating 2nd and 7th place in this Division but the action kicks off with a Friday Night Lights clash between Instonians and Malone.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Saturday, March 24
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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Instonians (15th) v Malone (3rd),Shaw’s Bridge, Friday Night Lights March 23, 19:30
Friday Night Lights comes to Shaw’s Bridge this weekend with an Ulster club derby between Inst. and Malone.
There is also a lot at stake for both sides as the home team are in the relegation zone while the visitors are chasing an automatic promotion spot.
Inst. lost to league leaders Trinity last weekend and with only three wins to their name this season they are struggling. Malone must be favourites for this game on form having beaten Thomond last time out.
Bective Rangers (9th) v City of Derry (8th), Donnybrook
A mid table clash and yet both sides are still not out of the mix for a promotion spot – on paper at least.
Bective were beaten by Midleton last time out and are seven points adrift of 2nd place Seapoint. By contrast City of Derry put a dent in Greystones ambitions at the start of the month.
Form favours the visitors who have scored four try bonuses and a whopping 285 points in the league to date (their only problem being they have conceded the exact same amount).
Clonakilty (16th) v Dublin University (1st), The Vale
Bottom versus top and an almost exact opposite in league form. Clon have won one and lost eleven while Trinity and won eleven and lost just one.
The Dublin side are eleven points clear and barring a total loss of form look nailed on to be playing in Division 1B next season.
Clon look set for the drop to Division 1B and Saturday could be another tough day on the pitch.
Corinthians (6th) v Old Crescent (10th), Corinthian Park
It really is all to play for still in this division. Corinthians are just three points behind Seapoint and a coveted automatic promotion spot.
Old Crescent may be out of the running but that won’t make them an easy touch as they look to finish the season with a positive points difference.
Both sides won their last game but home advantage and the lure of promotion should give the Galway side the edge.
DLSP (5th) v Old Wesley (12th), Kirwan Park
DLSP were in the driving seat in the first half of the season but Trinity nabbed top spot for Christmas and since then ‘Salmo have slipped back. They need to win on Saturday to stay in the race for promotion.
Old Wesley have struggled for consistent performances this season. Two early season draws and four try bonuses saw them comfortable but they haven’t won a game since early December.
A Dublin derby with promotion and pride at stake. It could be very interesting with the home side favourites.
Greystones (7th) v Seapoint (2nd), Dr. Hickey Park
It is almost a year since these sides met in Division 3. Seapoint emerged 15 – 13 winners in Kilbogget Park and it could be just as tight this time in Dr. Hickey Park
It could also decided the season for both clubs. Greystones are on a three match losing streak and will be keen to break the run.
Seapoint are in the driving seat of the chasing pack and a win here would keep them in front unless Malone pick up a bonus at Inst.
Terenure College (11th) v Midleton (13th), Lakelands
‘Nure are comfortable at the bottom end of mid table but will rue some nearly games – four losing bonuses turned into wins would see them a lot higher.
Midleton did a job on Bective at the start of the month – realising that being just above the bottom three is not a good place to be.
They can’t afford to lose ground to Thomond or they could find themselves facing a playoff for survival in this Division.
Thomond (14th) V Queen’s (4th), Liam Fitzgerald Park
Thomond currently occupy that relegation/promotion playoff spot only a point clear of Instonians. They need to overhaul Midleton to guarantee survival.
Queen’s are stuttering slightly albeit their last three games have been table top stuff against Greystones, DLSP and Trinity.
The students have the firepower to win this but Thomond are one of those sides that have an upset in them – maybe not this weekend though.