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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Leaders Terenure College are at home to Shannon this weekend while second-placed Corinthians travel to UL Bohemians in Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, November 23

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Belfast Harlequins: LLLWW; Dublin University: LLLLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Belfast Harlequins: Points: Liam Cambridge 53; Tries: Neil McComb, Ewan Strang 2 each; Dublin University: Points: Conor Kearns 30; Tries: Andy Keating, Pierce Dargan, Mark Nicholson, Niyi Adeolukan 1 each

Preview: The tough times continue for a Dublin University side lying bottom of the Division 1B table and without a victory to date.

While their form has improved, they just cannot seem to secure that first win. Niyi Adeolukan remains a decent finisher and Conor Kearns showed himself to be a useful goal-kicker in their most recent 26-17 defeat by leaders Terenure College.

Belfast Harlequins have moved up to fifth spot after beating Malone 25-15. Worringly for the students, ‘Quins place-kicker Liam Cambridge was successful with five penalties in that game.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 5, 2013: Dublin University 16 Belfast Harlequins 20, College Park; Saturday, March 16, 2013: Belfast Harlequins 7 Dublin University 12, Deramore Park

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

MALONE (9th) v BLACKROCK COLLEGE (8th), Gibson Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Malone: WLLLL; Blackrock College: WLLLL
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Malone: Points: James McKinney 26; Tries: Taylor Acheson 2; Blackrock College: Points: Rob Keogh 28; Tries: Mark Scott-Lennon, Richie Marsh 2 each

Preview: Two teams that have gone badly downhill. They are locked together in the bottom three with both side having won just once.

So, this is a very big game. Malone, on the basis that they are at home, may feel they should have an edge but their form has been very erractic lately.

The same applies to Blackrock who lost out to another Ulster side Dungannon 32-21 last time out. The need to get Mark Scott-Lennon into the game and hope that Malone give Rob Keogh the opportunity to show what a good place-kicker he can be.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 26, 2013: Blackrock College 23 Malone 20, Stradbrook; Saturday, April 20, 2013: Malone 19 Blackrock College 8, Gibson Park

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

TERENURE COLLEGE (1st) v SHANNON (6th), Lakelands Park

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Terenure College: WWWWW; Shannon: LLWLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: Mark O’Neill 19; Tries: Robbie Smyth, Kyle McCoy 3 each; Shannon: Points: Tadhg Bennett 44; Tries: Richie Mullane 2

Preview: Division 1B pacesetters Terenure College bid to make it six wins out of six when they host Shannon at Lakelands Park.

Everything suggests that they should be up to the task but there is no question of them taking Shannon’s challenge lightly. The Limerick outfit will have taken a lot of confidence from their most recent 13-9 derby win over UL Bohemians.

With Tadhg Bennett pulling the strings in the back-line, they are quite capable of making a real game of it.

Just the same, Terenure must be favourites, particulary if scrum half Kevin O’Neill continues the form he displayed when scoring two tries against Dublin University.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, March 1, 2008: Shannon 27 Terenure College 12, Coonagh; Saturday, October 25, 2008: Terenure College 10 Shannon 35, Lakelands Park

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

UL BOHEMIANS (4th) v CORINTHIANS (2nd), Annacotty

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – UL Bohemians: LWWWL; Corinthians: WWWWW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UL Bohemians: Points: Robert Bourke 31; Tries: Rory White, Robert Bourke, Ian Condell, Tim Rafferty, Derek Farrell, Adrian Enright, Ed Kelly, Jack O’Donoghue 1 each; Corinthians: Points: Sean O’Hagan 65; Tries: Ivan Venter, James Buckley 2 each

Preview: Another test for a Corinthians side that lies second in the table after winning all of their opening five games.

So far, they have not put a foot wrong. They have organisation, skill and clearly quite a bit of character as was shown when they came from behind to beat Buccaneers 19-18 last tine out.

They also have one of the best goal-kickers around in Sean O’Hagan. But fourth-placed UL Bohs are not to be taken lightly on the home ground, and a victory here would put the Limerick club right back into the hunt.

Recent League Meetings – N/A

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

BUCCANEERS (3rd) v DUNGANNON (7th), Dubarry Park, 7.30pm

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form – Buccaneers: WWWWL; Dungannon: LWLLW
Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Buccaneers: Points: Ben Carty 23; Tries: Billy Henshaw 3; Dungannon: Points: Peter Nelson 47; Tries: Peter Nelson, Paul Jackson 2 each

Preview: It is imperative for third-placed Buccaneers to return to winning ways after their narrow reverse against Corinthians.

They are quite capable of doing so, especially if Billy Henshaw continues his recent good form. Home advantage should also, of course, count in their favour.

Dungannon, however, can be a dangerous side. They have one of the best talents in the division in Peter Nelson who gave an outstanding performance when scoring 17 points against Blackrock College.

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, October 27, 2012: Buccaneers 12 Dungannon 26, Dubarry Park; Saturday, February 16, 2013: Dungannon 22 Buccaneers 24, Stevenson Park

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