The Division 2A action begins with a Friday Night Lights derby game in County Kildare as Naas host NUIM Barnhall with points, promotion, relegation and bragging rights at stake. Top billing on Saturday goes to the 1st v 4th battle between Galwegians and City of Derry.
ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Saturday, March 1
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
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Naas (14th) v NUIM Barnhall (2nd), Forenaughts, Friday, February 28, 7.30pm
Naas need to get out of the danger zone – two up/two down and a play-off spot makes 14th spot a dodgy place to be in the division.
NUIM Barnhall lead the pack chasing Galwegians, but it is a tight one with only points difference separating three teams. It is all set up for a big game at Forenaughts under lights on Friday then.
Ballymena (5th) v Seapoint (12th), Eaton Park
A point behind the three sides on 34 points and a game in hand – a healthy place to be for Ballymena if they can keep the pressure up with a win on Saturday.
Their last outing was a narrow home win over Bective Rangers. Seapoint’s last game was an equally narrow loss at home to league leaders Galwegians. Home advantage could be the deciding factor on Saturday.
Banbridge (10th) v Old Crescent (15th), Rifle Park
A mid-table finish seems likely for Banbridge – five wins and six losses to date – but they can certainly improve on 10th place with a win on Saturday.
They cannot be complacent though as Old Crescent are second from bottom and are badly in need of a win. Another home win on the cards.
Bective Rangers (11th) v Rainey Old Boys (8th), Donnybrook
Bective look set to continue their long presence in Division 2A but they would not want to slip up when they are just five points ahead of the danger zone.
Rainey are a real conundrum. They beat high-flying Queens one week and lose to mid-table Old Wesley the next. A consistent performance could see the visitors take the points.
Cashel (7th) v Old Wesley (9th), Spafield
On 28 points and with one more game played, you would have to say Cashel are right on the edge of the pack chasing promotion.
Still, they put one over on NUIM Barnhall recently and could do so again when Old Wesley visit them on Saturday.
Ninth-placed Wesley were pipped by City of Derry last time out. All told this could be a close one.
Galwegians (1st) v City of Derry (4th), Crowley Park
Match of the day? We certainly think so. Nobody will overtake ‘Wegians this weekend but a win for City of Derry would haul them in.
It is a tall order though. The Galway club have won ten of their eleven games and notched up six try-scoring bonus points in doing so.
City of Derry have beaten Old Wesley and Highfield recently but will need to find another gear out west on Saturday.
Highfield (13th) v Bruff (16th), Woodleigh Park
A relegation battle in every sense. Highfield are just two points clear of a relegation play-off spot and their points difference is not the healthiest.
Bruff seem nailed on for Division 2B next season but they are improving with each game and will learn a lot this season. A home win is on the cards here.
Queen’s University (3rd) v UCC (6th), Dub Lane
An intervarsity clash always has an added dimension and this game at Dub Lane should be no different.
Queen’s are coming in on the back of a loss to Ulster rivals Rainey, while UCC put nearly 50 points on Old Crescent in their last outing.
The home side are right in the promotion mix but the visitors could catch them with a win on Saturday.