Jump to main content

Menu

All-Ireland League: Division 2A Previews

All-Ireland League: Division 2A Previews

The top of the table clash between Navan, the unbeaten leaders, and Highfield is the match of the day in All-Ireland League Division 2A, while Galwegians face another basement battle with the visit of Old Crescent to Glenina.

ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE: DIVISION 2A: Saturday, November 10

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

All-Ireland League Results Service: Send AIL to 51444. To unsubscribe send the word STOP to 0876445950. Search #AIL on Twitter for club updates.

Clubs are invited to post the best tries from their All-Ireland League fixtures on the club’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages using the hashtag #AILTry and tag @irishrugby. The scorer of #AILTry of the Month will receive a voucher for €;250 and each of the monthly winners will be entered into the #AILTry of the Season competition.

Blackrock College (6th) v Cashel (3rd), Stradbrook

The upcoming break in fixtures appears to be coming at a good time for Blackrock who have lost their last three games, during which they have averaged just nine points. They left the result behind them at Queen’s, with two five-metre scrums resulting in defensive penalties as the students hung on.

‘Rock player-coach Mick Carroll starts in the second row this afternoon, the other four changes seeing David Rowan and Hugh Godson-Treacy return to the back-line with Conor Kilcoyne and Alan Francis filling the hooker and openside berths respectively. Cashel travel looking for their third win in a row.

The Tipperary men have happy memories of their last visit to Stradbrook – a 27-13 second round victory last season – and their streetwise back row of Ed Leamy, James Ryan and Michael Casey, along with ever-ready flanker Tommy Anglim, will take some stopping.

Galwegians (10th) v Old Crescent (9th), Crowley Park

While they remain without a win, there were better signs for Galwegians at Dolphin seven days ago. On another day, Rory Gaffney would have held onto a pass to score a try and his half-back partner Dave Clarke would have landed the conversion that fell just short and another which hit the post. The losing bonus point was some comfort, at least.

It is second successive basement battle for the Blues and they face another side desperate from points. Injuries severely contributed to Old Crescent’s eye-watering 61-14 thrashing by Highfield at Rosbrien, with second half tries from Ciaran Cusack (55 minutes) and Cathal Monaghan (75) their only crumbs of comfort.

‘Wegians were resounding 34-0 winners when they hosted Crescent in Glenina five years ago. Going further back to December 2004, Crescent’s current player-backs coach and full-back, Brian Tuohy, played at the ground for Shannon in a team that contained Jerry Flannery, Tony Buckley, Tom Hayes and one John Lacey, who yesterday announced that he will retire from refereeing at the end of the current season.

Highfield (2nd) v Navan (1st), Woodleigh Park

The two leading lights over the first five rounds meet at Woodleigh Park where Highfield have won the last 31 of their 36 regular season games since Tim Ryan took over in 2014. Greystones and Queen’s University (twice) have been the only teams to beat them there, while there were also two draws a couple of seasons ago.

That is the size of the task facing leaders Navan who are five-from-five up to this point. Ray Moloney’s men have been playing some excellent rugby, their 29-point second half salvo against UL Bohemians last week being particularly impressive. Forwards coach James O’Neill had a cameo in that game, but they head to Cork with an unchanged pack and Sean McEntagart restored to the right wing.

With a clean bill of health, Ryan is unsurprisingly set to stick to a winning formula and name an unchanged team, which includes top try-scoring winger Paul Stack (6 tries) and Luke Kingston, Dave O’Sullivan and number 8 Miah Cronin who have all touched down three times so far. Scrum half Brian Haugh leads the list of Navan try scorers with three.

Nenagh Ormond (7th) v Dolphin (8th), New Ormond Park

Nenagh Ormond were well contained by local rivals Cashel last time out, but a positive result here could send them back into the top half of the table. Their coach Dermot Dunne has reacted to that four-try defeat by promoting winger Killian Gleeson and flanker Evan Murphy from the bench, the latter having captained the Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team last season.

The Nenagh selection also sees Jonathan Healy back at hooker, and the lineout and scrum will certainly be key battle grounds given Dolphin’s proficiency in those areas. Two wins in three games is an encouraging return for the Corkmen whose centres Will Hanly and Dan Horgan both scored tries against ‘Wegians.

Nenagh conceded 31 points to both Blackrock and Queen’s in their two home matches so far, and that number has to come down considerably if they want to push back towards the top four. Similarly, Dolphin leaked 26 points to Cashel and 29 to Highfield in their two recent road trips, so defensive improvements will be the first thing both coaches look for in this afternoon’s Munster derby.

UL Bohemians (5th) v Queen’s University (4th), Annacotty

UL Bohemians’ pattern of following losses with a win should mean that they end their wait for a home victory today. In a game moved to their Annacotty ground, the Red Robins bring in fit-again lock Daragh Frawley after his return off the bench against Navan. They had a second half to forget at Balreask Old and will be targeting a strong opening quarter.

Queen’s, in fourth, are one place above their student rivals but have a six-point advantage. Their sheer will to win against Blackrock, despite their yellow cards, would have delighted head coach Derek Suffern, who is to set to field an unchanged pack which includes back rowers Andrew McGrath and Gary Dillon, their two try scorers from last week.

It should be a good tussle at half-back with Bohs banking on the skilful Bourke brothers, Robbie and Hugh, while the pacy Queen’s back-line is marshalled by Richie McMaster and Conor McAuley, the latter having scored four tries already following his summer move from Belfast Harlequins. If UL can keep the visitors’ backs relatively quiet, they stand a good chance of getting a result.