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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Annacotty and Belfield will be bouncing on Saturday as the Division 1B title, promotion and even relegation could be decided between the two games.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, April 21

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated

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BALLYMENA (6th) v UCC (10th), Eaton Park

Preview: One of the few games with little at stake. Having featured for such a long stage in the promotion race, Ballymena have fallen away in recent times.

Last weekend’s 37-15 defeat to Dungannon was comprehensive but they remain a decent side. Good enough to figure in the Ulster Bank Bateman Cup final against Garryowen next weekend.

They should prove capable of going into that decider with a victory under their belts given that they will be up against a UCC side that is already relegated and has won just two matches all season.

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

BALLYNAHINCH (5th) v GALWEGIANS (7th), Ballymacarn Park

Preview: Important for Galwegians to get something out of this game. Their late win over Buccaneers should see them stay clear of relegation but they can take nothing for granted.

They could still be caught if Bruff get a victory and UCD secure a bonus point win. Ballynahinch, trounced 22-3 at home by UL Bohs last time out, have little to play for.

But they have been involved in the promotion race for most of the season and Galwegians only have to look back on their earlier meeting at Crowley Park to recognise how dangerous they can be. Ballynahinch won 33-17 on that occasion.

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

BRUFF (8th) v BUCCANEERS (4th), Kilballyowen Park

Preview: Third-from-bottom Bruff cannot afford a slip up in front of their own fans. Otherwise, they could see UCD overtake them.

It’s hard to know what to expect from Buccaneers. They have been very erratic of late and their 20-17 defeat to Galwegians put an end to their promotion hopes.

But at their best they are a good side, good enough to defeat Bruff 17-11 at home earlier in the campaign. So it is a difficult enough match for the Limerick outfit.

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

UL BOHEMIANS (3rd) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (1st), Annacotty

Preview: Huge promotion battle between third and first. UL Bohemians currently trail leaders Belfast Harlequins by four points with second-placed Dungannon three points clear of the Limerick side.

So there is an enormous amount at stake. No doubt, UL Bohs will fancy their chances after a tremendous recent run which has seen them rapidly climb up the table.

Last Saturday’s 22-3 away win over Ballynahinch would suggest that they are in peak form just now. Leaders Belfast Harlequins, however, are a tough nut to crack, particularly if Ian Porter is available, though he is on the bench for Ulster tonight.

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

UCD (9th) v DUNGANNON (2nd), Belfield

Preview: Another hugely important game, only this one is between a side desperately trying to avoid relegation (UCD) and a team going for promotion (Dungannon).

UCD put up a really brave effort away to leaders Belfast Harlequins last weekend scoring three tries, only to be pipped 24-22. They now find themselves in second last spot, two points adrift of Bruff.

Without doubt, they could have found easier opponents than Dungannon. The Tyrone side have been in tremendous form of late, putting together a run which has seen them climb to second in the table.

They only trail leaders Belfast Harlequins by a point and should they win with a bonus point at Belfield they may well end the season as Division 1B champions.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dungannon to win by 10+ points

Related Links –

Ulster Bank League Tables

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