Division 2A has a real Ulster flavour to it with Ballymena, City of Derry, Queen’s and Rainey making up the top four. With the top two in action against Old Wesley and Bective, Donnybrook clubs could have a big say in how the table looks come the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, November 2
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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Ballymena (1st) v Old Wesley (5th), Eaton Park
Three wins and two try bonuses is a great way to start your league campaign and Ballymena look set fair to be challenging for promotion come the end of the season.
Still there is a lot of rugby to be played yet and Saturday sees them hosting an Old Wesley side that has notched up two impressive wins of their own.
A win for the visitors would mix things up in the top four but form and home advantage has to favour Ballymena.
Banbridge (14th) v UCC (6th), Rifle Park
One of five Ulster sides in the division the Bann are unfortunately without a win to their name in the league.
So far they have lost to Cashel, Queens and Seapoint – none of which were easy games.
Saturday is another chance then but it still won’t be easy when 6th placed UCC come calling. Two wins so far has them right in the mix and you would have to tip them to pick up a win on the road.
Bective Rangers (12th) v City of Derry (2nd), Donnybrook
Bective picked up their first win in the league in last weekend’s Friday Night Lights clash away to Bruff.
Saturday sees them back in Donnybrook but facing a potent looking City of Derry.
Three wins and a brace of try bonuses has the Ulster outfit just behind Ballymena on points difference. Again you have to go with form and tip the visitors.
Galwegians (7th) v Queens (3rd), Crowley Park
A really interesting game in prospect at Crowley Park as 7th plays 3rd with only a point between them in the table.
‘Wegians recovered from their opening game loss to Ballymena to beat Cashel and Old Wesley leaving them mid table at this early juncture.
Queen’s by contrast won their opening two games only to lose narrowly to Ballymena last weekend.
A tough one to call but Ulster clubs seem resurgent at present….
Highfield (16th) v Cashel (10th), Woodleigh Park
A worrying start for the Cork club with three losses but it bears a closer look. So far they have face Ballymena, Queens and local rivals UCC in what can only be described as a ‘tough start to the season’.
This weekend, then is a chance to get things back on track as they are at home to Cashel.
The Tipperary club have lost their last two games though and won’t be a soft touch.
Naas (9th) v Seapoint (8th), Forenaughts
An all Leinster affair in Forenaughts on Saturday with both teams having lost last one game so far.
Seapoint’s try bonus separates them in the table but Naas have looked good value for their wins so far.
Home advantage naturally favours the Co. Kildare side and they could take the win on Saturday.
NUIM Barnhall (11th) v Old Crescent (13th), Parsonstown
A rocky start for the promoted NUIM Barnhall – a win over Bruff and a losing bonus point against City of Derry were countered by a loss to Old Wesley last weekend.
Old Crescent have also won one – against Bruff – and lost two – Rainey & Old Wesley – but they trail their hosts by two points.
The home side should bounce back from their result last week to make certain of this one.
Rainey Old Boys (4th) v Bruff (15th), Hatrick Park
Rainey have started well since being promoted. Two wins and two try bonuses mean they have scored the most points in this division.
On the downside they have leaked the second highest total, but they have been entertaining.
Bruff are already struggling since dropping down from Division 1B and look set for that to continue.