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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, February 15

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated

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Buccaneers (3rd) v Dublin University (8th), Dubarry Park

It’s essential for Buccaneers to return to winning from following some disappointing results, the last of which saw them go down 13-8 to Malone.

Despite their reverses, they still lie third in the table, trailing second placed Corinthias by six points. Significantly though, Corinthians have a game in hand.

If Buccaneeers are to stay in contention, they must beat Dublin University. But the students are much improved since losing to Buccs earlier this season and are more than capable of giving a good account of themselves.

Corinthians (2nd) v Blackrock College (9th), Corinthian Park

Not exactly an easy assignment for Blackrock College as they bid to move away from the relegation zone.

Currently, they are second last, just three points ahead of bottom side Dungannon. They put up a reasonable effort against league leaders Terenure last time out but still lost 20-8.

On the basis of their performance at Stradbrook in the first series of matches, Corinthians are entitled to fancy their chances of completing the double over Blackrock. The second placed side in the table hammered Blackrock 27-5 on that occasion

Dungannon (10th) v Shannon (6th), Stevenson Park (Match postponed due to unplayable pitch)

Shannon will be pleased to get back to action following the abandonment of their game against Blackrock College and the postponement of their fixture with Corinthians.

Consequently, they have only played nine games, two less than most of the other teams in the division. But they remain in a decent mid table position, having won five of those nine outings.

Bottom side Dungannon, by contrast, have only won twice out of 11 games. Despite the best efforts of the talented Peter Nelson, they look in real danger of being relegated.

Terenure College (1st) v Belfast Harlequins (5th), Lakelands

Surely the game of the day in Division 1B between the runaway leaders Terenure College and the improving Belfast Harlequins outfit.

To date, Terenure can do no wrong. Eleven straight victories with a points difference of plus 200 sees them 13 points clear of their nearest rivals.

While Belfast Harlequins will be very much the outsiders, they did record a cracking 20-0 victory over UL Bohemians last time out. Furthermore, they ran Terenure to 13-12 when the sides met earlier this season.

UL Bohemians (4th) v Malone (7th), UL All Weather

After their disappointing defeat by Belfast Harlequins, fourth placed UL Bohemians must respond with a decent performance at home to Malone.

The game is to go ahead on the all-weather pitch at the University of Limerick, a decision which should suit UL Bohs. Their opponents Malone have had a difficult season to date but showed a distinct improvement to beat Buccaneers 13-8 last time out.

It has moved them up to fourth from bottom in what is a very tight battle at the end of the table.