Finishing this first block of Energia Men’s All-Ireland League Division 2C fixtures with a maiden win is the goal for the four clubs clashing at Kilballyowen Park and Musgrave Park.
ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – DIVISION 2C:
ROUND 3: Saturday, October 16
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
Bangor (2nd) v Midleton (5th), Upritchard Park
Midleton would love a repeat of their 22-20 victory from their last visit to Bangor back in March 2019. Stuart Lee’s last-minute drop goal provided the late drama that day.
Lee and Bangor place-kicker Gareth Millar could have a big say in Saturday’s outcome, with the latter accumulating 24 points already. Bangor number 8 Mike Weir opened his try account with a brace in Clonmel.
The Seasiders’ centre pairing of Ally McIvor and Conor Lusty have both got amongst the tries during the opening two rounds. Flor McCarthy has had a good impact in Midleton’s midfield.
Bruff (9th) v Clonmel (8th), Kilballyowen Park
The first of two Munster derbies for Bruff in the space of a fortnight. The Limerick men are without a win so far, so a backlash is expected after last week’s late 10-point collapse to Skerries.
IRFU President Des Kavanagh was present last Saturday to see the strides being made by Ian Keatley’s young Clonmel side. A maiden victory is what they crave.
Hungarian international prop Roland Marki looks a great addition, already popping up with a try. Clonmel led early on before going down 25-12 to Bruff in this season’s Munster Senior Cup.
Enniscorthy (1st) v Omagh Academicals (7th), Alcast Park
With 87 points and 13 tries scored, Enniscorthy are showing plenty of cutting edge in attack. Centres Nick Doyle (4) and Daniel Pim (2) certainly know where the try-line is.
On ‘Scorthy’s new head coach Ben Manion, assistant coach Declan O’Brien said: “We want to play a high-tempo game and Ben suits that bill in the way he coaches. He’s a good fit for us and the players are responding to him really, really well.”
This looks a tough ask for Omagh, who leaked a late match-winning drop goal to Tullamore last week. The Accies, who are hoping for front row injuries to clear, have had a 22-point contribution from out-half Kyle Beattie so far.
Skerries (3rd) v Tullamore (4th), Holmpatrick
Skerries’ late show against Bruff made for a rousing comeback win. It was an eventful afternoon for young winger Oisin McKey who provided an assist, was yellow carded and returned to score a crucial try.
It is two tries each for McKey and Skerries captain Kevin McGrath so far, while Saturday’s visitors, Tullamore, have their tails up after Sam Burns kicked them to a second straight victory.
Tulliers boss Darin Claasen is bedding in a new-look team, led by lock Mick Tormey. Hooker Jack Delahunt, a recent league debutant, is a younger brother of Connacht’s Shane.
Sunday’s Well (6th) v City of Derry (10th), Musgrave Park
Sunday’s Well have to quickly put their Cork derby disappointment behind them. Converting their chances is key, and they will be sharpening up their attack after being held try-less at Towns Park.
City of Derry boss Richard McCarter, who is dealing with an early season injury crisis, is ‘keeping the heads up’ as they look to bounce back from that heavy defeat to Enniscorthy.
“We finished the last 15 minutes against Tullamore really strongly, and we finished well against Enniscorthy. If we could flip that and get off to a very good start and try to maintain it, it would make a big difference,” he told the Derry Journal.