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Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2B Previews

This weekend’s action in Division 2B gets underway tomorrow night with second-placed Greystones’ trip up the coast to Skerries, while Saturday’s line-up includes a crunch Leinster derby between MU Barnhall and Wanderers.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2B: Saturday, November 12

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Skerries (7th) v Greystones (2nd), Holmpatrick, Friday, November 11, 8pm

Big lock Joe Glennon and flanker Thomas O’Hare were injured for Skerries’ six-point defeat at Thomond, and they will certainly need the pair back for the visit of their high-flying Leinster rivals Greystones.

Hooker Chris Tongue has been Skerries’ only try scorer in their last two outings, whereas second-placed ‘Stones ran in eight against Dungannon and MU Barnhall combined.

The battle between hookers Tongue and Mike Lea will be a tasty one, and both number 8s and captains – Ross McAuley and Bobby Clancy – will be looking to lead by example, with Clancy one of the Wicklow side’s try scorers during last April’s 32-30 play-off win at Holmpatrick.

Armagh (1st) v Thomond (9th), Palace Grounds

Armagh maintained their winning form against Old Crescent (21-9) despite not playing particularly well, and they entertain another Limerick club in Thomond this weekend.

Peter Elliott produced a man-of-the-match display on his long-awaited return from injury, a real positive for head coach Alex McCloy whose side face a big clash with close rivals Greystones on November 26.

Full-back Dermot Fitzgerald kicked Thomond to a morale-boosting 12-6 success against Skerries. They did draw 13-all with City of Derry on their last visit to Ulster, but front runners Armagh are a whole different kettle of fish.

Dungannon (4th) v Bective Rangers (5th), Stevenson Park

Dungannon were overwhelmed 41-7 by Wanderers in the last round, and they will look to take out their frustrations on Bective Rangers who, following a bonus point victory over Derry, are just one place and four points behind ‘Gannon.

They coughed up three tries in the opening 25 minutes against Wanderers and were really below-par. Head coach Andy Hughes is hoping a dose of home comfort does the trick.

Bective’s early season form was not great, but back-to-back victories over Old Crescent and Derry have them within reach of the top four and ‘Gannon will need a good performance to dispatch the Dubliners.

MU Barnhall (6th) v Wanderers (3rd), Parsonstown

Two of MU Barnhall’s three defeats have come in the last three rounds, the Blue Bulls going down heavily to pacesetters Armagh and Greystones and conceding 91 points in the process.

Their performances and results are usually much better at home, but Wanderers come calling on the back of a brilliant 41-7 bonus point dismissal of Dungannon.

Centre Rob Clune crossed for two of the headquarters club’s six tries last Saturday, and a fourth win on the trot would keep Greg Lynch’s charges right in the mix for promotion.

Old Crescent (8th) v City of Derry (10th), Rosbrien

Two of the bottom three teams face off at Rosbrien where Old Crescent were impressive 24-16 winners over Wanderers in early October, However, since then, the Limerick men have lost twice in three outings.

Crescent were very competitive last week against leaders Armagh, Barry Neville’s booming boot securing their only points (nine) as their try-scoring attempts were foiled.

Derry’s travails continued with a 29-3 loss at Bective. They are the only club yet to post a win across all five divisions this season – a disappointing statistic which head coach Richie McCarter will be desperate to chalk out as soon as possible.