The weather took a toll in Division 2B last weekend but there is a full programme of important games this weekend as we near the end of the league.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2B: Saturday, March 30
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Ards (15th) v Armagh (4th), Hamilton Park
Contrasting fortunes for these teams as Armagh could still grab a late playoff spot if they can catch NUIM Barnhall or Naas.
Ards are right in the middle of the relegation dogfight to avoid a playoff against one of the qualifying league sides.
The visitors have the edge in form and should take the points.
Clonakilty (14th) v Naas (2nd), The Vale
Like the game in Ards this is another relegation battler versus promotion chaser so both game have huge importance.
Clon are two points clear of Ards and a win would give them a real cushion.
But they face a Naas side who are chasing an automatic promotion slot. Naas have picked up 4 try bonuses to date and proven themselves on the road.
The visitors should take the win on Saturday.
Connemara (16th) v Skerries (8th), Monastery Field
More contrasts in this game. Connemara are on the wane this season and face time rebuilding in Connacht.
Skerries have consolidated on promotion last season and with six wins look healthy enough.
Form favours the visitors.
NUIM Barnhall (3rd) v Navan (7th), Parsonstown
A big game for the home team as they now have a game in hand over Naas. A win here could put them into 2nd place and an automatic promotion spot.
Navan won’t travel to be a pushover – they ran Rainey close at home last weekend – and this could be a cracking game.
The home side should be well supported and this could be an exciting game in Leixlip on Saturday afternoon.
Rainey OB (1st) v Thomond (11th), Hatrick Park
Thomond’s wins over Suttonians and Ards in recent weeks have put them up to 11th but only 5 points clear of 15th place.
Hatrick Park is not somewhere they will have marked down for an away win given the form of their hosts.
Rainey should be well able to take the points at home and keep their grip on the top spot.
Sligo (10th) v Instonians (9th), Hamilton Park
The home side are difficult to judge. A very creditable losing bonus against NUIM Barnhall was preceded by a draw with Sunday’s Well in recent weeks.
On 21 points they are technically not out of danger yet but it would mean a series of odd results to see them slip five places.
Inst. are perfectly balanced with six wins and six losses so far and could take the win.
Sunday’s Well (13th) v Boyne (6th), Musgrave Park
The Well have been perennial survivors in the league and while only four points clear of danger you’d still back them to stay up.
Saturday, however, could prove a tough test as Boyne are a team with ambition.
Steady at the top end of the mid table the Drogheda side are a useful outfit and could make the Well’s job that little bit harder with an away win on Saturday.
Suttonians (12th) v Nenagh Ormond (5th), JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds
The Sutton side are another who need a win to make them comfortable but like Sligo and Thomond above them they have probably done enough.
Nenagh Ormond have been put in some good performances this season and can build for next season if they can keep their form.
An away win on the cards in Dublin on Saturday.