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Ulster Bank League: Division 2A Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2A Previews

Two games in is still early days to judge the form teams, but Queen’s University and Banbridge have opened up an early lead over the rest at the top of Ulster Bank League Division 2A. Can they sustain it on the road this weekend?

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Saturday, September 26

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Malone (4th) v Corinthians (10th), Gibson Park

Malone added to their opening week losing bonus point by earning a bonus point win away to Naas in a 74-point game last weekend. Forwards Cory Tipping and Ross Todd, two of their try scorers, led a stunning comeback from 17 points down.

Corinthians are bottom of the table with two losses, albeit to table toppers Queen’s University and Banbridge. Saturday is their third game in a row against Ulster opposition. Ene Fa’atau’s men will certainly be hoping for a better outcome than the first two.

Naas (3rd) v UCC (6th), Forenaughts

Naas picked up both a try-scoring bonus point and losing bonus last week against Malone in a thrilling encounter. Combined with their opening day victory, it leaves Johne Murphy’s side on six points.

UCC are two points further back, although they have played a game less. Saturday should be an interesting test for both clubs, with the students’ talented full-back Kevin O’Keeffe hoping to add to his 16-point haul from last week’s success against Skerries.

Nenagh Ormond (9th) v Queen’s University (1st), New Ormond Park

Nenagh Ormond are in action for the first time in the league, having missed out in the opening week and the postponement of last week’s clash with Cashel.

It’s a tough ask therefore to take on the table toppers in their first outing. Queen’s University travel south with two wins under their belts. They are brimming with confidence, aided by the addition of Ireland U-20 international Nick Timoney up front and the continued quality of their backs.

Skerries (8th) v Cashel (5th), Holmpatrick

Skerries have lost two matches on the bounce, albeit they picked up a losing bonus point on the road against UCC last weekend. The impact of their bench led to two final quarter tries as they showed their battling qualities at the Mardyke.

Cashel are back in action following last week’s tragic death of Eddie Connolly who had family links with the club. They make the trip to Holmpatrick on Saturday and it promises to be a cracker. Their place-kicker Jason Newton accumulated 11 points in their opener at Thomond, and he could have a big role in this round 3 tie.

Thomond (7th) v Banbridge (2nd), Liam Fitzgerald Park

Thomond, who were beaten 17-3 by Queen’s last time out, have had a tough opening to the league with only a losing bonus point against Cashel to their name.

Saturday will not be any easier as they host a Banbridge side with two victories under their belts.
A home loss will bring pressure to bear, while an away triumph would give Bann an excellent start to the league campaign.

Bann head coach Daniel Soper said: “We’ve a tough assignment at Thomond up next, but I’m happy with the way things are going. The seconds had a thumping win over Coleraine after being on the cusp of a win for the past two weeks. So with 40-plus enthusiastic players out training that gives us plenty to work with and keeps the pressure on the first team players to perform.”