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Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Previews

Table-topping Rainey, who make the trip to Sligo, will be aiming to pick up where they left off before the break, while Seapoint and Boyne get the ‘Friday Night Lights’ treatment this week in a juicy Leinster derby.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2C: Saturday, October 29

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Seapoint (5th) v Boyne (8th), Kilbogget Park, Friday, October 28, 8pm

Despite losing their grip on a 14-point lead, Boyne took heart from their performance and two points gained in their round 4 draw with Midleton. A recent session with ‘scrum doctor’ Peter Bracken has their forwards primed for this trip to Seapoint.

‘Point ended the first run of league matches three points and three places better off than Boyne, but they will want to quickly banish memories of their 31-0 dismantling by table toppers Rainey.

Seapoint lost their two floodlit league encounters last season when they were in Division 2B. They will be fiercely determined to get back to winning ways on home turf – especially with visits to Midleton and Bangor coming up.

Bangor (6th) v Midleton (3rd), Upritchard Park

Bangor were rocked back onto their heels by last week’s heavy 44-17 beating away to Tullamore. However, with injuries clearing, they should have a reinforced line-up for this round 5 contest with Midleton.

The Seasiders’ forwards coach Ale Alatise has been really pleased with their scrummaging performances, and it should be a key battle up front. Indeed. competition for places is high in both front rows.

With three try-scoring bonus points already, Midleton certainly know where the try-line is and out-half Paul Daly and versatile forward Sean White have been regular scorers with three each.

Navan (4th) v Bruff (9th), Balreask Old

Bruff breathed a big sigh of relief when opening their win account at the fourth attempt, pipping Sligo 26-25 thanks to a late Tony Cahill try. Hooker John Hogan also crossed twice, continuing his strong start to the season.

Navan got back on track with a 47-37 bonus point triumph away to Kanturk, but they are in the midst of a four-match winless run at home. Winning consistently at Balreask Old is a must if they are to harbour hopes of promotion.

The Meath men should get the result they desire here. They have enough quality around the pitch to do so, especially if their South African centre Riaan van der Vyver (three tries) features prominently.

Sligo (7th) v Rainey Old Boys (1st), Hamilton Park

It is hard to see Sligo winning out here, especially if unbeaten leaders Rainey resume their league campaign in the bonus point-winning form of the earlier rounds.

Ex-pros Ricky Andrew and Tim Barker seem to grow in influence for the Magherafelt side with each passing week, the later turning in a try-scoring man-of-the-match performance against Seapoint.

Sligo, whose hooker Shane O’Hehir gained a call-up with Connacht Eagles, are always tough opposition on their own patch. Evidence of their tenacity is the fact that they have picked up at least a point from each of their four games so far.

Tullamore (2nd) v Kanturk (10th), Spollanstown

If Tullamore can build on their bonus point exploits against Bangor last week, they should account for bottom side Kanturk and stay within reach of Rainey at the top of the table.

Their young back-line really caught the eye in a swashbuckling 44-17 dismissal of Bangor, with pacey centres Ben Ridgeway and Tom Gilligan scoring three of the six tries.

Kanturk have been blowing hot and cold, but player-coach Ben Martin saw enough in their action-packed 47-37 loss to Navan to suggest that improved results are around the corner. “That was the best attacking game we have played in over 12 months. We ran some great running lines and it’s fantastic to see the work on the training pitch come to the fore on matchday,” he said.