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Ulster Bank League: Round Robin Qualifiers Preview

Ulster Bank League: Round Robin Qualifiers Preview

The Ulster Bank League Round Robin qualifiers are back on the agenda this Saturday with round 2 fixtures in Tyrone and Cork, writes Rob Murphy of www.knockon.ie.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE QUALIFIERS: Saturday, April 5

SECOND ROUND FIXTURES –

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CLOGHER VALLEY (4th) v OLBC (3rd), the Cran, 2.30pm

KANTURK (2nd) v WANDERERS (1st), Knocknacolan, 3.30pm

Fivemiletown hosts the meeting of Ulster champions Clogher Valley and Connacht’s OLBC, while Kanturk will be a sea of green when the Munster league-winning home side host Wanderers.

After the opening round of the All-Ireland Provincial League Championship, it is the Leinster champions that lead the way on points difference thanks to their 21-7 victory over Clogher Valley.

Kanturk also have four points after their 13-7 defeat of OLBC, setting up this Munster v Leinster clash perfectly. The winners of Saturday’s game will be primed for promotion.

Neither Kanturk nor Wanderers had it all their own way in round 1. Clogher Valley were always going to make life difficult for the home side on the Aviva Stadium’s back pitch.

They did so with bells on, leading after half-time with Paul Armstrong scored their opening try and Philip Holme converting for a 7-6 lead. However, tries from Peter Brougham and Michael Kevany saw Wanderers home.

In Galway in round one OLBC almost produced a big upset off the back of their highly-rated defensive structures and a strong pack effort.

Ger Fahy’s try from a big forward drive had them in front, but tries from Kealan Buckley and Sean Cremin saw the Duhallow side turn the tide at the Sportsground to set up their forthcoming home games.

Wanderers will be favourites at Knocknacolan on Saturday based on the record of Leinster clubs in this competition over recent years, and the fact that they won 13 of 14 league games in Division 1A this year.

Yet, they lost away to Tralee in the All-Ireland Junior Cup and Kanturk on home soil in front of a big crowd will be an equally tricky proposition. Kick-off is at 3.30pm to allow for the Munster v Toulouse Heineken Cup clash which will be on the big screens.

In Fivemiletown, Clogher Valley will look to reignite their promotion hopes when they host Galway side OLBC.

The visitors have a point on the board after their opening game and are therefore in a slightly better position, with a win on Saturday possibly helping them into second place in the standings before their final day trip to Wanderers.

Valley will be favourites, however. They beat Ballymena seconds in the Towns Cup semi-final last weekend to maintain the momentum and a play-off with Instonians is now very much the target after their opening day loss to Wanderers.

Related Links –

Round Robin Qualifiers – Round 1 Review

Ulster Bank League Qualifiers – Fixtures/Results

Ulster Bank League Qualifiers – Table