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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 15 June 2021
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Win or bust for 'Belvo, Con go to Limerick and all your UBL Div 1 previews

The weekend club action starts tonight with the Colours Match in UCD.

Kick-off Saturday 2.30pm unless stated.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE DIVISION 1A

UCD (5th) v DUBLIN UNIVERSITY (7th), Belfield Bowl, tonight, 6.30pm

Tonight’s annual Colours match (live on www.IrishRugby.ie)  has an added dimension this year with Division 1A points on the line. Three points currently separate the sides in fifth and seventh places respectively.

Dublin University, whose goal-kicking winger Bryan Mollen starred for the Ireland Students last Sunday, won 28-15 at home last season thanks to a stellar second half performance.

Peadar Timmins Peadat Timmins on UCD duty in January. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

However, home advantage and their spread of Leinster Academy talent mean that UCD look well placed to complete a season’s double over Trinity. They were 23-13 winners at College Park in September, with Peadar Timmins and captain Jamie Glynn both touching down.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: UCD: LWLLLWLWLWWLLWWD; Dublin University: WLWWWLWLLLLWLWWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UCD: Points: Matthew Gilsenan 52; Tries: Tom Fletcher 6; Dublin University: Points: Jack McDermott 91; Tries: Colm Hogan 7

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE (6th) v CLONTARF (4th), Templeville Road, tonight, 7.30pm

St. Mary’s 37-24 victory at Trinity two weeks ago should be enough to secure their top flight status for another year, with Darren Moroney and Gus Jones both impressing.

However, Mary’s will miss talismanic out-half Cathal Marsh who is out with a quad strain, and they host a Clontarf side still hunting for a home semi-final.

The defending champions were stung late on by Young Munster last time out, but returning centre/winger Conor O’Brien, who lined out for Leinster ‘A’ last week, should give their attack some added bite.

Conor O’Brien Conor O'Brien Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: St. Mary’s College: LWLWWLLLLWLWLWLW; Clontarf: WLLWLLLWWWLWWWWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – St. Mary’s College: Points: Sean Kearns 47; Tries: David Fanagan 5; Clontarf: Points: Rob Keogh 97; Tries: Matt D’Arcy 8

GARRYOWEN (9th) v OLD BELVEDERE (10th), Dooradoyle

This is effectively a relegation shoot-out. It is a win-or-bust scenario for Old Belvedere who trail Garryowen by three points at the foot of the table.

Belvedere’s recent draw with Lansdowne ended their six-match losing run, with star full-back Daniel Riordan scoring his third try in as many games.

Daniel Riordan File photo of Belvo's top try-scorer Riordan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Garryowen got the performance but not the result away to Cork Constitution, and would love to put one over on a ‘Belvo camp that includes their ex-head coach Paul Cunningham and former out-halves Willie Staunton and Eddie O’Sullivan.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Garryowen: LWWLLLWWWLLLWLLL; Old Belvedere: WLWWWLLLWLLLLLLD

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Garryowen: Points: Neil Cronin 121; Tries: Liam Coombes 5; Old Belvedere: Points: Willie Staunton 84; Tries: Daniel Riordan 5

TERENURE COLLEGE (8th) v LANSDOWNE (1st), Lakelands Park

Terenure will have to do it the hard way if they are avoid finishing in the bottom two. They host leaders Lansdowne tomorrow before a final round trip to Trinity.

‘Nure went down 29-5 to Lansdowne in September but the headquarters club have not shown that sort of form of late, suffering two defeats and a draw.

Terrence players dejected Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

A strong defensive performance at UCD will have boosted James Blaney’s troops, but they need to lock out the scrum as the Lansdowne front row were dominant in that round 2 tie.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Terenure College: LLWLLLLLLWWWLLWD; Lansdowne: WWLLWWWWWLWWWLLD

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: Jake Swaine 78; Tries: Marc Hiney, Eoin Joyce 4 each; Lansdowne: Points: Scott Deasy 155; Tries: Daniel McEvoy 10

YOUNG MUNSTER (3rd) v CORK CONSTITUTION (2nd), Temple Hill

Max Abbott’s decisive try against Garryowen has moved Cork Constitution into second place, two points clear of Young Munster who had their own late hero at Clontarf in Alan Tynan.

The provincial rivals meet in Greenfields tomorrow with the huge incentive of a home semi-final to aim for. Robin Copeland’s try double was the highlight of Munsters’ stunning 37-15 win at Temple Hill in September.

Max Abbott Max Abbott. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Con gained revenge to retain the Munster Senior Cup in February and although the Cookies have been vulnerable at home (four defeats in eight league games), the carrot of a top-two finish should inspire Gearoid Prendergast’s side to victory.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Young Munster: LWWLWWWLLWWLWLLW; Cork Constitution: WLLWWWWWWLWLWWWW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Young Munster: Points: Alan Tynan 81; Tries: Cian Bohane, Rob Guerin 5 each; Cork Constitution: Points: Tomas Quinlan 162; Tries: Shane Daly, Conor Kindregan 5 each

DIVISION 1B:

BALLYNAHINCH (6th) v UL BOHEMIANS (2nd), Ballymacarn Park

Although the title race is over, second-placed UL Bohemians still have home advantage in the promotion play-offs to play for, with Old Wesley on the same 47-point total.

Ballynahinch’s dramatic win at Naas last week has pushed them up to sixth and away from relegation trouble. Injured duo Justin Rea and Jonny Blair will miss the rest of the season, with Ben Cullen and Blane McIlroy replacing them tomorrow.

The Red Robins outscored ‘Hinch by six tries to three when they hosted them back in round 2. Winger Jamie McNamara bagged two tries in that 38-22 win.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Ballynahinch: WLWLLWLLWWWLLLLW; UL Bohemians: WWWWWLWLWWLLLWWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Ballynahinch: Points: Chris Quinn 49; Tries: Jordan Grattan, Davy Nicholson 5 each; UL Bohemians: Points: Rick McKenna 103; Tries: Harry Fleming 7

NAAS (4th) v BALLYMENA (7th), Forenaughts

Naas’ 16-14 defeat to Ballynahinch was tough to take – David McGuigan’s late try saw them pipped to the post – and they entertain Ulster opposition for the second week running.

John Creighton clears the ball Source: Presseye/John McIlwaine/INPHO

The Kildare men are fighting off UCC for the final play-off spot, with back-three regulars Peter Osborne and Peter Howard combining for six of the club’s last nine tries.

Ulster have released Dave Shanahan, Adam McBurney and Conall Boomer to start for visitors Ballymena, with Josh McIlroy, who impressed for the Ireland Students team against England, set to feature at outside centre.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Naas: WLLWWWLWLWWWLWLL; Ballymena: WWLWLLWWLDLWLLLL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Naas: Points: Peter Osborne 138; Tries: Fionn Carr, Peter Osborne 6 each; Ballymena: Points: Ritchie McMaster 65; Tries: Mark Best 5

SHANNON (8th) v BUCCANEERS (1st), Thomond Park back pitch

A week before they receive the Division 1B silverware, champions Buccaneers meet a Shannon side that are not quite out of the relegation mire yet.

With a safety net of seven points currently, Shannon are chasing their sixth win in eight league matches since Tom Hayes took the coaching reins.

The Limerick men look a much more cohesive team compared to the one that lost 27-3 in Athlone back in September, although Buccs will probably have too much for them again.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Shannon: LLLLLWLDLWWWLWLW; Buccaneers: LWWWWWWWWDWWWWLW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Shannon: Points: Ronan McKenna 57; Tries: Niall Mulcahy, Conor Glynn 4 each; Buccaneers: Points: Alan Gaughan 136; Tries: Jordan Conroy 17

UCC (5th) v GALWEGIANS (9th), the Mardyke

Tight wins over Buccaneers and Ballymena have UCC making a late charge for the play-offs. Naas, who hold a five-point lead, are in their sights.

The students have benefited from the place-kicking accuracy of the division’s top scorer Kevin O’Keeffe, whose 139 points amounts to 47% of UCC’s overall haul.

John Moloney Galwegians John Moloney. Source: Presseye/Jonathan Porter/INPHO

Near misses are dotted throughout Galwegians’ campaign. Encouragingly, the relegation-threatened westerners were 31-14 winners over the Corkmen in September, and a successful trip to the Mardyke could spark a much-needed late season revival.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: UCC: LLWLWLWLLLWWWLWW; Galwegians: LWLLLLLLWLLLWDLL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – UCC: Points: Kevin O’Keeffe 139; Tries: Conor Barry 5; Galwegians: Points: Aidan Moynihan 71; Tries: Cormac Brennan, Aidan Moynihan 6 each

DOLPHIN (10th) v OLD WESLEY (3rd), Irish Independent Park

They may still be bottom of the table, but Dolphin are finding form at just the right time, posting three wins in the last four rounds.

It has taken a massive collective effort but out-half Barry Keeshan (31 points in those four games) and number 8 Ryan Murphy (three tries) have stood out for their crucial scoring contributions.

Old Wesley are bound for the play-offs, aided by centre David Poff’s five tries in his last four outings, and had 11 points to spare when they hosted Dolphin in round 2.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Dolphin: LLWLLLWWLLLLWLWW; Old Wesley: WWLWWWLDWLLLWDWW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers – Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 88; Tries: Ryan Murphy 6; Old Wesley: Points: Barry McLaughlin 117; Tries: David Poff 5

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