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Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 1B Previews

Champions elect Terenure College are on the verge of their biggest season in the league, while Buccaneers and UL Bohemians will still try and reel Corinthians in for second place.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 1B: Saturday, March 22

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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BLACKROCK COLLEGE (8th) v MALONE (7th), Stradbrook

Vital game for both teams as they bid to move away from relegation trouble. Currently, Blackrock College are third-from-bottom with Malone just two points ahead of them.

It promises to be a real battle. When the sides met last November at Gibson Park, Blackrock came away with a hard earned 32-25 victory.

With home advantage, they will now be hoping they can complete the double.

But Malone’s from has picked up lately, the talented James McKinney contributing 20 points in their 25-14 win over Belfast Harlequins.

CORINTHIANS (2nd) v UL BOHEMIANS (4th), Corinthian Park

It is getting a bit worrying for second-placed Corinthians after such a good season. Last weekend’s 25-18 derby defeat to Buccaneers means that they are now just five points ahead of their nearest challengers.

Those two challengers are Buccaneers and UL Bohemians. So, a win for UL Bohs at Corinthian Park would open things up for the second placed spot even further.

On the evidence of the first meeting between the sides, there is little between them.

Corinthians came away with a 13-10 away victory in the first round of matches and everything suggests that this encounter could be every bit as closely fought.

DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (9th) v BELFAST HARLEQUINS (6th), Sydney Parade

Only a victory will do for Dublin University as they bid to move away from their second-from-bottom position.

They would appear to be in with a chance against a Belfast Harlequins team that has gone off the boil in recent games.

Dublin University put up a creditable effort in only going down 22-17 away to runaway leaders Terenure College last time out.

Jack Dilger’s late try earned them a vital losing bonus point. More of the same could see them tale revenge for a 13-8 defeat to Belfast Harlequins in the first round of matches.

DUNGANNON (10th) v BUCCANEERS (3rd), Stevenson Park

A lot at stake for both teams. Dungannon because they are seven points adrift at the bottom and simply must win.

On the face of it, they already look doomed but they have to hope that their fortunes change dramatically. Beating second-placed Buccaneers would be an ideal start.

Unfortunately for them, however, the odds will strongly favour Buccaneers.

They have already trounced Dungannon 50-7 at home and last weekend showed that they are currently in fine form by accounting for their Connacht rivals Corinthians, 25-18.

SHANNON (5th) v TERENURE COLLEGE (1st), Coonagh

Potentially, Terenure College could make certain of the title this weekend if they win and the Corinthians result goes their way.

But it seems more likely that they will have to wait on next weekend’s home game against Corinthians before celebrating. Either way, this has been a magnificent season for Terenure.

To win all 14 games to date would have been unthinkable at the start of the season. Now their aim must be to go through their entire campaign with a 100% record.

Everything suggests that they can win their last four fixtures, starting with this away game against Shannon.

But Shannon will be no pushovers at Coonagh and they did give Terenure a decent game when only losing 25-17 to them at Lakelands Park.