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Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Previews

Ulster Bank League: Division 2C Previews

Division 2C is saving the best for last this weekend with Saturday evening’s showdown between second-placed Rainey Old Boys and Tullamore who are fourth. Leaders Navan are away to local rivals and bottom side Boyne on Friday night.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE: DIVISION 2C: Saturday, February 11

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

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Bruff (5th) v Kanturk (8th), Kilballyowen Park, Friday, February 10, 7.30pm

It is paramount that Bruff complete the double over Kanturk here, particularly with three massive games against promotion rivals (Tullamore, Navan and Sligo) looming large on the horizon.

The Limerick side’s six-try 41-12 dismissal of Bangor showed what they are capable of on home turf and with their scrum and maul in potent form, the Kanturk pack will be severely tested.

Kanturk will need to tighten up defensively to get something out of this game. Winger Olan Daly remains their brightest spark in attack with four tries in his last five league appearances.

Boyne (10th) v Navan (1st), Shamrock Park, Friday, February 10, 8pm

There is nothing like a local derby to get the juices flowing, and Boyne will hope this Friday Night Lights clash brings the best out of them – particularly their back-line which they have struggled to get going in recent rounds.

Basic errors and a high penalty count have really cost the Drogheda outfit, allowing basement rivals Kanturk to do the double on them and promotion-chasing Tullamore to rack up 43 points last time out.

Navan are another heavy-scoring side – they were 34-6 winners over Boyne in November and have tallied up a stunning 137 points in the last three rounds – and the table toppers are unlikely to show much mercy to their struggling neighbours.

Midleton (7th) v Sligo (3rd), Towns Park, 12.30pm

Midleton were taught a real lesson by Navan in round 11, a day to forget for John O’Neill’s men saw them humbled 45-3 in County Meath with Stuart Lee kicking their only points.

They are 13 points off the top four so a fourth straight defeat would seriously dent their promotion hopes. But with memories of November’s narrow win over Sligo and the benefit of home advantage, they are more than capable of arresting their slide.

This is also an acid test of Sligo’s ambitions following their well-executed doubles over Seapoint and Bangor. They seem to have an excellent balance to their team, particularly their back row of Simon Coulter, Diarmuid O’Dowd-Hill and captain Shane Boyle.

Seapoint (9th) v Bangor (6th), Kilbogget Park, 12.30pm

The division’s second Saturday lunchtime kick-off will have the prize of a first win since November on offer for both Seapoint and Bangor. For the hosts, they have to go back to November 5 and a 19-17 success at Midleton.

A week later, Bangor took the spoils – 20-13 – at home to Seapoint, their 20 unanswered points (including tries from captain Phil Whyte and Phil Broderick) erasing the Dubliners’ two-try head-start that day.

But results have been very hard to come by for both clubs over the past three months. With three home games in the next four rounds, the only way has to be up for Eric Miller’s Seapoint charges.

Rainey Old Boys (2nd) v Tullamore (4th), Hatrick Park, 4.30pm

Rainey’s talismanic hooker George Fritz is desperately trying to shake off a shoulder injury for this visit of top four rivals Tullamore. However, next week’s trip to leaders Navan looks a more realistic target for the South African.

Gavin Martin, Aidan McSwiggan and Bernie Mullan should be back in the selection mix for John Andrews’ men who, despite having two props sin-binned, held on for a 25-21 victory at Tullamore in November.

Since then the Co. Offaly club have completed doubles over Boyne and Midleton. Their backs have been putting away the chances, just as prop Ger Molloy did last time out with a brace of tries against bottom-placed Boyne.