Table toppers Terenure College travel to Belfast in search of their third straight win, while a struggling Shannon host Dungannon as the action resumes in Ulster Bank League Division 1B.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, October 26
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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BELFAST HARLEQUINS (8th) v TERENURE COLLEGE (1st), Deramore Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Belfast Harlequins: LL; Terenure College: WW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 18; Tries: Neil McComb 2; Terenure College: Points: Willie Staunton 16; Tries: Fergal Walsh, Harry Moore 2 each
Preview: Leaders Terenure College will again be looking to out-half Willie Staunton to provide inspiration for their visit to Deramore Park.
Staunton delivered as Terenure came from behind to beat Blackrock College 20-19 with a late penalty at Stradbrook last time out. The closeness of that match brought Terenure down to earth after their opening 36-9 demolition of UL Bohemians.
Belfast Harlequins have started with two defeats but are normally difficult to beat on their home ground. Still, it will be a surprise if Terenure slip up.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 12, 2009: Belfast Harlequins 9 Terenure College 17, Deramore Park; Saturday, February 5, 2011: Terenure College 10 Belfast Harlequins 17, Lakelands Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win by 1-5 points
BLACKROCK COLLEGE (5th) v CORINTHIANS (3rd), Stradbrook
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Blackrock College: WL; Corinthians: WW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 17; Tries: Adam Griggs, Sam Cooke, Carl Murray, Mark Scott-Lennon, Richie Marsh 1 each; Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 30; Tries: Ivan Venter 2
Preview: Another good match at Stradbrook following Blackrock College’s dramatic 20-19 defeat to Terenure College.
Blackrock will again be up against one of the front runners in a Corinthians side that have won their opening two games. The Galway outfit were very impressive in accounting for Shannon 30-16 in their most recent outing.
They would appear to be very well organised and in a good position to give a good account of themselves in this division. But Blackrock are a decent enough outfit themselves with Mark Scott-Lennon a real threat.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Corinthians to win by 1-5 points
DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (10th) v BUCCANEERS (2nd), Sydney Parade
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Dublin University: LL; Buccaneers: WW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 8; Tries: Andy Keating 1; Buccaneers: Points: Ben Carty 13; Tries: Daniel Qualter 2
Preview: Not a lot has gone right for Dublin University. Two straight defeats would indicate that they are in for a much more difficult time this season.
They did remarkably well to finish third last year, only just short of the promotion fight but several of the top players have since moved on.
Furthermore, they are unable to play on their home pitch at College Park because it has been relaid.
Buccaneers, by comparision, are up among the front runners following two victories. Daniel Qualter has started particuarly well, scoring tries in those wins over Belfast Harlequins and Malone.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, December 1, 2012: Buccaneers 25 Dublin University 23, Dubarry Park; Saturday, March 2, 2013: Dublin University 23 Buccaneers 19, College Park
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Buccaneers to win by 6-10 points
MALONE (4th) v UL BOHEMIANS (7th), Gibson Park
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Malone: WL; UL Bohemians: LW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Malone: Points: James McKinney 10; Tries: Mike McComish, Michael Barker, Peter Henderson, Michael Ferguson, Mark Gribben 1 each; UL Bohemians: Points: Shane Airey 14; Tries: Robert Bourke, Ed Kelly 1 each
Preview: Two teams in a similar position with both having won one and lost one of their first two games.
Malone will, no doubt, hope that home advantage will give them the edge. On their previous appearance at Gibson Park, they played well to defeat Dungannon before losing narrowly 23-20 away to Buccaneers.
There were real worries for UL Bohs supporters after they conceded 36 points against Terenure. But they appear to have steadied the ship with a 23-17 home success over Belfast Harlequins.
Recent League Meetings – N/A
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Malone to win by 1-5 points
SHANNON (9th) v DUNGANNON (6th), Coonagh
Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Shannon: LL; Dungannon: LW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 17; Tries: Richie Mullane, David O’Donovan, Niall Horan 1 each; Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 16; Tries: Cormac McCartney, Peter Nelson, Chris Farrell, Chris Cochrane 1 each
Preview: As if things were not bad enough following their relegation, Shannon are still looking for their first victory in Division 1B.
And they can’t expect any favours from a Dungannon side that possesses a real threat in their backs division through Peter Nelson and Chris Cochrane. What is more, Nelson is a very useful goal-kicker.
Quite clearly, Shannon are going to have to improve on their 30-16 defeat to Corinthians. Once again, Tadhg Bennett is going to be a key performer.
Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 19, 2008: Dungannon 25 Shannon 18, Stevenson Park; Saturday, January 31, 2009: Shannon 22 Dungannon 10, Coonagh
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Dungannon to win by 1-5 points