Trinity have won the Division and the coveted promotion spot in fine style this season but second place and promotion are still up for grabs with Malone, Queens and Greystones all in the mix. At the bottom of the table Clon are relegated but Instonians, Thomond and Midleton all face a tough weekend.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Saturday, April 14
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Clonakilty (15th) v Terenure (10th),The Vale
Clonakilty will be playing Division 2B rugby next season having struggled with demands of Division 2A and with a squad hit by the current economic reality.
Terenure are seven and seven for the season without ever troubling either end of the table.
There isn’t much at stake for either side but a win for Clon would be a positive end to a tough season while a win for ‘Nure would at least tip the scales in the win/loss ratio.
DLSP (9th) v Midleton (13th),Kirwan Park
A topsy turvy season for DLSP saw them leading the way pre Christmas only to suffer a serious slump in results since January.
Midleton could be in trouble this weekend if they lose and Thomond win at home. They would then be third from bottom and face a playoff against the club finishing third in Division 2B – one of Banbridge, NUIM Barnhall or Rainey.
Can ‘Salmo salvage something from their season or will the Cork side have the mettle to avoid the sticky end of seasn playoff?
Dublin University (1st) v Old Wesley (12th), College Park
A victory lap of sorts for Trinity as they have won 13 out of 14 to date and with it the league and promotion.
Beating Seapoint away last time out gave them the title and they will be presented with the trophy on their home ground this weekend regardless of the result.
Old Wesley for their part have struggled to make an impact this season despite recording four try bonuses.
Victory and celebration for the students and a raucous night in the Pav are on the cards.
Greystones (4th) v Bective Rangers (8th),Dr. Hickey Park
All three sides challenging for promotion are at home this weekend and all three face difficult opposition.
Greystones are the outside bet for promotion needing both Malone and Queens to lose but Dr. Hickey Park is likely to be pretty packed nonetheless.
Bective’s mid table finish reflects their 8 and 6 winning run and with a few bounces of the ball they might have been higher in the table.
A home win but will it be enough?
Instonians (15th) v Corinthians (5th),Shaws Bridge
The visitors effectively lost their promotion shot when they went down 0-7 at home to Thomond at the end of March.
They also effectively condemned Instonians to relegation as that win put Thomond five points clear of the Ulster side.
Division 2B beckons it would seem for the Ulster club as they trail Thomond by 5 points and are -62 worse off in the points difference.
Malone (2nd) v Seapoint (6th),Gibson Park
Malone are ahead of Queens in the race for promotion on points difference only and they face possibly the toughest task this weekend.
Seapoint’s loss to Trinity put an end to their promotion ambition for this season but they can reflect on a great run of form in recent years.
Malone have been impressive with four try bonuses and five losing bonuses. They can take the win and the promotion slot but they need to run up the scores to keep ahead of Queens.
Queens (3rd) v City of Derry (7th),Dub Lane
The third of the promotion chasing clashes and the wires will be alive between Gibson Park and Dub Lane.
Queens and Malone are level on 45 points but the students are seven points worse off in points difference.
Like Malone they face a side that was promoted last season – City of Derry. An Ulster derby when you need a win is not the easiest to negotiate.
2nd place in this division is going to the wire!
Thomond (14th) v Old Crescent (11th),Liam Fitzgerald Park
Barring a huge win for Instonians and or a total collapse by Thomond the home side look to be safe from automatic relegation.
They still face the prospect of a playoff though if they can’t steal ahead of Midleton.
With that in mind they need a win here and a favour from DLSP. They may get the latter but they won’t get any favours from Limerick rivals Old Crescent.
A playoff beckons for Thomond.