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Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 2C Previews

Energia Men’s All-Ireland League: Division 2C Previews

Skerries claimed a stirring comeback win over Midleton, and face Cork opposition again tomorrow in Sunday's Well ©Fidelma Read Photography

Second-placed Enniscorthy visit Bangor, who occupy third spot, in the match of the round in Energia Men’s All-Ireland League Division 2C.

ENERGIA MEN’S ALL-IRELAND LEAGUE – DIVISION 2C:

ROUND 7: Saturday, November 27

Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –

BANGOR (3rd) v ENNISCORTHY (2nd), Upritchard Park

Both of these teams have tasted defeat in recent rounds, with Bangor looking to banish memories of a frustrating 34-15 loss to Tullamore. Those mistakes, particularly from kicks out of hand, cannot be repeated.

Aiming for their fourth home win of the season, the Seasiders can draw confidence from a hard-earned 15-14 defeat of Enniscorthy in January 2020, when player-coach Michael Ferguson was one of the try scorers.

‘Scorthy continue to blood players, teenage flanker James Doyle the latest one. Head coach Ben Manion commented: “We have young kids putting their hands up. We’ve probably got 28-30 guys who are absolutely capable of playing at this level, and we’re going to get better.”

BRUFF (8th) v TULLAMORE (4th), Kilballyowen Park

Bruff have had one of everything so far at Kilballyowen Park, with a win, a draw and a loss. Tullamore arrive in impressive form, buoyed by back-to-back victories and the accuracy of goal-kicker Conor Dunne.

Dunne, a former Ireland Under-18 Sevens international, was superb the last day against Bangor, and their back row, including two-try replacement Gavin Ridgeway, will take some stopping.

Bruff, who were beaten 13-6 at home by the Tulliers two years ago, are smarting from a last-gasp defeat at Omagh. Wingers Mark Fitzgerald and Sean D’Arcy are proving tough to keep off the scoresheet.

CLONMEL (9th) v OMAGH ACADEMICALS (6th), Ardgaoithe

Clonmel remain one of only two clubs without a win in this division. It is not for the want of trying, with Ian Keatley’s young squad running City of Derry close last week while picking up a losing bonus point.

They face Ulster opposition again tomorrow, hosting an Omagh outfit that will be down a few bodies. Their experienced hooker Mervyn Edgar broke his hand against Bruff.

These sides’ only previous AIL clash came on the opening day of the 2019/20 season. They played out a 13-all draw at Ardgaoithe, the Accies leaving nine points behind them in missed kicks.

* Unfortunately due to Covid-19 concerns, the decision has been taken to call off the Clonmel v Omagh Academicals match. The game will not be re-fixed.

As with Covid-19 affected matches, both teams are awarded two league points and a 0-0 scoreline will be entered.

MIDLETON (5th) v CITY OF DERRY (7th), Towns Park

Having moved 16 points clear at half-time, Midleton were hugely disappointed to end up losing by the minimum margin to Skerries last week. They have another home game here to get their teeth into.

Red Devils second row Denis Broderick has stood out for his scoring ability, picking up three tries so far. Getting amongst the tries is key for City of Derry after relying on penalties to beat Clonmel.

Derry’s most recent trip to Cork was a successful one – they were 20-14 winners at Sunday’s Well last month. They lost 18-3 at Midleton in December 2019 before winning the return fixture 10-6, so expect another tight affair.

SKERRIES (1st) v SUNDAY’S WELL (10th), Holmpatrick

Skerries’ powers of recovery were at their peak in reeling in Midleton last week. Young full-back Ronan Mulcahy, who defended stoutly, looks a fine prospect, while captain Kevin McGrath chipped in with his sixth try.

On their day, Sunday’s Well are capable of upsetting the top teams, and they always seem to give the Goats a run for their money. They started strongly at Holmpatrick in January 2020 before losing 13-3.

While results are currently proving hard to come by, the ‘Well are working hard off the pitch with the benefit of their brilliant newly-opened gym. It is part of the club’s ambitious plans for the future.