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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

There is an old school Dublin derby in Stradbrook this Saturday as league leaders Terenure College travel to Blackrock College in Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League. In addition, there are home games for Corinthians, Dungannon, UL Bohemians and Buccaneers.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 5

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BLACKROCK COLLEGE (5th) v TERENURE COLLEGE (1st), Stradbrook

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Blackrock College: W; Terenure College: W
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 13; Tries: Adam Griggs, Sam Cooke 1 each; Terenure College: Points: Fergal Walsh 10; Tries: Fergal Walsh 2

Preview: It is a bit like the old days at Stradbrook with these two great old rivals clashing. To add flavour to the occasion, both opened with victories last Saturday.

Last season’s Division 2A champions Terenure are expected to emerge as real contenders. Certainly, that was the impression they gave when scoring six tries to demolish UL Bohemians 36-9, two of them coming from Fergal Walsh.

But Blackrock should prove tougher opposition in front of their home fans. They did exceptionally well to defeat Shannon 23-16 at Coonagh and have a quality place-kicker in Rob Keogh.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 3, 2007: Terenure College 24 Blackrock College 23, Lakelands Park; Saturday, October 18, 2008: Blackrock College 28 Terenure College 3, Stradbrook

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

CORINTHIANS (3rd) v SHANNON (6th), Corinthian Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Corinthians: W; Shannon: L
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 15; Tries: Aaron Conneely, Sean O’Hagan, Ivan Venter 1 each; Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 6; Tries: Richie Mullane, David O’Donovan 1 each

Preview: Tough one for Shannon as they attempt to recover from their disappointing opening home defeat to Blackrock College – albeit they were only side in the division to earn a losing bonus point.

It does seem that promoted Corinthians are a really good outfit. Any side that can beat Dublin University 25-7 away must have something going for them.

Out-half Sean O’Hagan played a major role, scoring 15 points. They will, no doubt, be looking for another big contribution from him, as will Shannon from their experienced out-half Tadhg Bennett.

Recent League Meetings – N/A

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

DUNGANNON (8th) v DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (9th), Stevenson Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dungannon: L; Dublin University: L
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dungannon: Points: Cormac McCartney, Peter Nelson 5 each; Tries: Cormac McCartney 1; Dublin University: Points: Andy Keating 5; Tries: Andy Keating 1

Preview: Both sides will be keen to return to winning form after very disappointing defeats last Saturday.

For Dungannon, there was the extra problem in that their full-back Mark O’Shea sustained a serious ankle injury in the 20-10 loss to Malone.

They do, however, have some other very useful backs, none more so than former Ireland Under-20 international Peter Nelson.

Dublin University fell some way short of the standards which earned them third spot last season when going under 25-7 to Corinthians. They played well enough to lead 7-6 at half-time but then fell away alarmingly in the second half.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 6, 2012: Dungannon 16 Dublin University 22, Stevenson Park; Saturday, February 2, 2013: Dublin University 24 Dungannon 16, Merrion Road

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

UL BOHEMIANS (10th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (7th), Annacotty

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UL Bohemians: L; Belfast Harlequins: L
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: Shane Airey 9; Tries: -; Belfast Harlequins: Points: Neil McComb 10; Tries: Neil McComb 2

Preview: Things went badly wrong for UL Bohemians when conceding six tries in their first outing against Terenure College.

Surely, they will improve on that effort on their home patch of Annacotty, they will have to. It does look as if Munster’s JJ Hanrahan is going to be a big loss.

Belfast Harlequins are also looking for their first victory after going under 29-21 at home to Buccaneers. Neil McComb, scorer of two tries in that game, provides the main threat to UL Bohs.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 1, 2011: Belfast Harlequins 14 UL Bohemians 12, Deramore Park; Saturday, April 21, 2012: UL Bohemians 34 Belfast Harlequins 14, Annacotty

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

BUCCANEERS (2nd) v MALONE (4th), Dubarry Park, 7.30pm

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: W; Malone: W
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Jack Carty 9; Tries: David Heffernan, Daniel Qualter, Alex Hayman, Tiernan O’Halloran; Malone: Points: Peter Henderson 7; Tries: Mike McComish, Michael Barker, Peter Henderson 1 each

Preview: Buccaneers will surely fancy their chances of making it two out of two following their excellent bonus point away win against Belfast Harlequins first time out.

They did most thing rights, using their possession really well. Importantly, they also have a top class place-kicker in Jack Carthy.

But Malone can provide a real test, having also won their first outing against Dungannon.

The Belfast club were slightly erratic last season but on their day are capable of playing some very good rugby. This ‘Saturday Night Lights’ game could be well worth catching.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, November 17, 2012: Malone 12 Buccaneers 24, Gibson Park; Saturday, February 23, 2013: Buccaneers 37 Malone 30, Dubarry Park

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