moving day

It's the final round of the UBL regular season, here's what you need to know

In Division 1A only the order of the top four has to be sorted out, but there’s no shortage of drama at the bottom.

Kick-off: Saturday 15 April, 2.30pm unless stated


CLONTARF (2nd) v UCD (5th), Castle Avenue

Clontarf ended the 2015/16 regular season with a home win over UCD and went on to be crowned league champions. Can they repeat that feat as the title race enters the final straight?

Rob Keogh kicks a conversion Rob Keogh kicking a conversion last season. Colm O'Neill / INPHO Colm O'Neill / INPHO / INPHO

Of the top four, ‘Tarf are showing the most consistency of late. They outscored St. Mary’s by five tries to two in the last round, with four of those scores coming from their well-oiled back-line.

Fresh from their Colours match win, UCD are safely tucked away in mid-table. They would love to claim the scalp of ‘Tarf and boast plenty of attacking threats themselves, especially Ireland Under-20 starlet Tommy O’Brien who now has six league tries to his name.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Clontarf: WLLWLLLWWWLWWWWLW; UCD: LWLLLWLWLWWLLWWDW.

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Clontarf: Points: Rob Keogh 99; Tries: Matt D’Arcy 8; UCD: Points: Matthew Gilsenan 52; Tries: Tom Fletcher, Tommy O’Brien 6 each.


There is plenty on the line for both sides tomorrow afternoon as fourth-placed Cork Constitution continue to push for a home semi-final, while St. Mary’s are only one point above the relegation play-off spot.

The Dubliners are delicately perched in sixth, with three teams nipping at their heels, but even if they lose on Leeside, it looks like Garryowen or the losers of Dublin University v Terenure College could finish below them.

Shane Daly dejected Shane Daly on U20 duty last summer. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Constitution had a frustrating afternoon at Young Munster, going down 3-0 with a number of try-scoring chances, including a Niall Kenneally break, not converted. They need to get back to winning ways here ahead of a crucial period in the season, which also includes a Bateman Cup final trip to Old Belvedere.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Cork Con: WLLWWWWWWLWLWWWWL; St. Mary’s College: LWLWWLLLLWLWLWLWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Cork Constitution: Points: Tomas Quinlan 162; Tries: Shane Daly, Conor Kindregan 5 each; St. Mary’s College: Points: Sean Kearns 49; Tries: David Fanagan 5


It will be a final day dog-fight to avoid the relegation play-off spot which still looms over four teams. Terenure’s tremendous 36-17 win over leaders Lansdowne has drawn them level on 35 points with Dublin University.

Trinity lost last week’s Colours clash and have slipped to second-from-bottom. Their director of rugby Tony Smeeth is expecting ‘a cracker of a game for the neutral’.

“Watching Terenure against Lansdowne, they really do try to play a high-tempo running style backed up with massive physicality at the breakdown, traits we bring to our game at every opportunity,” he said.

Niall Lawlor celebrates scoring a try with Jake Swaine, Kevin OÕNeill and William Devane 12/11//2016 Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Rowan Osborne is set to fill in at scrum half for the students’ captain Brian Slater, with Cian O’Dwyer and Ross Todd also introduced up front. It will be interesting to see if Terenure start teenage centre Ted O’Donoghue again after his try-scoring debut last week.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Dublin University: WLWWWLWLLLLWLWWLL; Terenure College: LLWLLLLLLWWWLLWDW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Dublin University: Points: Jack McDermott 91; Tries: Colm Hogan 7; Terenure College: Points: Jake Swaine 94; Tries: Marc Hiney, Eoin Joyce, Jake Swaine 4 each

LANSDOWNE (1st) v GARRYOWEN (8th), Aviva Stadium back pitch

Without a win in four rounds, Lansdowne are in danger of missing out on home advantage in the semi-finals unless they belatedly pick up their form. Relegation-threatened Garryowen are their final round visitors.

Fergal Cleary was an able deputy for Scott Deasy at out-half last week, but the table toppers were just overrun by a terrier-like Terenure team. Lansdowne have arguably the best scrummaging unit in the division and that is an area they can certainly hurt the Light Blues in.

Daniel McEvoy on the attack Daniel McEvoy makes a break in the reverse fixture. Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Garryowen’s dramatic victory over Old Belvedere, which confirmed the latter’s relegation showcased their backs’ try-scoring ability. Two of their scorers from that game, top scorer Liam Coombes (six tries) and Munster’s Alex Wootton, will definitely need to be well marshalled by the home defence.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Lansdowne: WWLLWWWWWLWWWLLDL; Garryowen: LWWLLLWWWLLLWLLLW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Lansdowne: Points: Scott Deasy 155; Tries: Daniel McEvoy 10; Garryowen: Points: Neil Cronin 132; Tries: Liam Coombes 6

OLD BELVEDERE (10th) v YOUNG MUNSTER (3rd), Anglesea Road

You have to feel for Old Belvedere who started their league run with such bright hope, posting four early wins and lifting the Leinster Senior Cup. But last week saw them relegated from the top flight having gone eight matches without a victory.

On paper, the Bateman Cup finalists have a squad to challenge for league honours, but it just has not happened for them and September’s memorable 36-35 success down at Young Munster seems a long time ago.

Cian Bohane Cian Bohane of Young Munster Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

The Cookies have added motivation for this return leg as they are very much in the hunt for a home semi-final. Out-half Alan Tynan’s lone penalty got them the result against Cork Con, the Tipperary youngster taking his league tally to 84 points since early October.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Old Belvedere: WLWWWLLLWLLLLLLDL; Young Munster: LWWLWWWLLWWLWLLWW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Old Belvedere: Points: Willie Staunton 84; Tries: Daniel Riordan 5; Young Munster: Points: Alan Tynan 84; Tries: Cian Bohane, Rob Guerin 5 each.

Semi-finals:  Featuring Lansdowne, Clontarf, Young Munster and Cork Constitution (finishing order to be confirmed) — to take place  weekend of April 22-23 (1st v 4th, 2nd v 3rd); Division 1A final: Aviva Stadium, Sunday, May 7Relegated: Old Belvedere (automatic), one club to face play-offs (Dublin University, Garryowen, Terenure College or St. Mary’s College).


BALLYMENA (8th) v SHANNON (7th), Eaton Park

Dolphin’s resurgence has drawn Ballymena and Shannon into the relegation picture, with both clubs within a five-point range of the second-from-bottom Corkmen ahead of a tense final day.

That means the winners here will be safe in Division 1B for another season and a draw would be enough for both sides. The Braidmen are battling injuries again, but the presence of Ulster’s Ross Kane will boost their front row and David Shanahan and Mark Best face late fitness tests.

Ross Kane Ross Kane on Ravens duty in 2015. Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

Shannon have looked the more cohesive outfit in recent rounds, picking up a losing bonus point against champions Buccaneers last Saturday. Avenging September’s 25-19 defeat to Ballymena is well within their capabilities.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Ballymena: WWLWLLWWLDLWLLLLL; Shannon: LLLLLWLDLWWWLWLWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Ballymena: Points: Richie McMaster 65; Tries: Mark Best 5; Shannon: Points: Ronan McKenna 65; Tries: Niall Mulcahy, Conor Glynn 4 each

BUCCANEERS (1st) v BALLYNAHINCH (6th), Dubarry Park

It was mission accomplished for Buccaneers two weeks ago and this will be their coronation as Division 1B champions, fittingly at their Athlone fortress in front of their own supporters.

Buccs have lost their last two games to Ballynahinch, including a promotion/relegation play-off 12 months ago (41-19), but they are a different animal now and they will be looking to end the campaign on a real high in what is likely to be captain Kolo Kiripati’s last game for the club.

Stevie Mullholand in action with Kolo Kiripati Kolo Kiripati on the charge last season. Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO Presseye / Matt Mackey/INPHO / Matt Mackey/INPHO

Injuries and unavailability have hampered ‘Hinch and affected their results, with only win in their last six outings. David McGuigan and skipper Michael Graham will be absent from the back row tomorrow, but Ulster’s Peter Nelson, David Busby, Aaron Cairns and Craig Trenier are expected to feature.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Buccaneers: LWWWWWWWWDWWWWLWW; Ballynahinch: WLWLLWLLWWWLLLLWL

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Buccaneers: Points: Alan Gaughan 136; Tries: Jordan Conroy 17; Ballynahinch: Points: Chris Quinn 49; Tries: Jordan Grattan, Davy Nicholson 5 each

GALWEGIANS (10th) v NAAS (3rd), Crowley Park

Having been overhauled by Dolphin last Sunday, Galwegians are under pressure to deliver a winning performance at home to third-placed Naas who are set to contend for promotion in the play-offs.

‘Wegians have fallen to the bottom rung following three successive losses, leaving them two points behind second-from-bottom Dolphin. Even if they finish ninth, the dreaded play-offs with the Division 2A clubs await.

Fionn Carr scores a try Fionn Carr touches down for the Ireland Legends team on St Patrick's Day. Colm O'Neill / INPHO Colm O'Neill / INPHO / INPHO

The westerners are hoping that their top try scorer Aidan Moynihan (7 tries) continues to find his way to the whitewash, while Naas’ in-form winger Peter Howard will be searching for his sixth try in five games.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: Galwegians: LWLLLLLLWLLLWDLLL; Naas: WLLWWWLWLWWWLWLLW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Galwegians: Points: Aidan Moynihan 76; Tries: Aidan Moynihan 7; Naas: Points: Peter Osborne 146; Tries: Fionn Carr, Peter Osborne, Peter Howard 6 each

OLD WESLEY (4th) v UCC (5th), Donnybrook

Old Wesley’s 22-10 reversal at Dolphin last Sunday has given UCC an outside chance of squeezing into the promotion play-offs. They have a three-point gap to make up on fourth-placed Wesley.

Centre David Poff’s sixth try of the campaign was the only real highlight for Wesley, while the Cork youngsters will venture up to the capital in high spirits after edging out Galwegians in a seven-try thriller.

Conor Maguire runs in a try Presseye / Dylan McIlwaine/INPHO Presseye / Dylan McIlwaine/INPHO / Dylan McIlwaine/INPHO

UCC’s ace place-kicker Kevin O’Keeffe is just ahead of Naas’ Peter Osborne – 148 points to 146 – at the top of the scoring charts entering this final round. Watch out too for the students’ out-half Charlie O’Regan who is chasing his third try in as many games.


Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - Old Wesley: Points: Barry McLaughlin 117; Tries: David Poff 6; UCC: Points: Kevin O’Keeffe 148; Tries: Conor Barry 5

UL BOHEMIANS (2nd) v DOLPHIN (9th), University of Limerick 4G pitch

Dolphin deserve all the plaudits for a terrific run of results, chalking up three wins on the bounce. Last Sunday’s 12-point victory over Wesley was probably the best of the lot, topped off by winger Gerry Ryan’s intercept try.

They will be clinging onto the hope that another triumph, this time at second-placed UL Bohemians, could be enough to avoid automatic relegation. They could also live to fight another day in the play-offs.

Barry Keeshan File photo of Barry Keeshan kicking at goal. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Bohs have some business of their own to take care of. Second place and home advantage in the promotion play-offs is certainly a prize worth fighting for. Former Dolphin back Harry Fleming has burst into life for UL with a try in each of the last five rounds.

Ulster Bank League Season’s Form: UL Bohemians: WWWWWLWLWWLLLWWLW; Dolphin: LLWLLLWWLLLLWLWWW

Ulster Bank League Top Scorers - UL Bohemians: Points: Rick McKenna 103; Tries: Harry Fleming 8; Dolphin: Points: Barry Keeshan 95; Tries: Ryan Murphy 6

Champions/Promoted: Buccaneers

Division 1A promotion/relegation play-off semi-finals: Saturday, April 22 (9th Div 1A v 4th Div 1B, 2nd Div 1B v 3rd Div 1B); Division 1A promotion/relegation play-off final: Saturday, April 29

Division 1B clubs to contest promotion/relegation play-offs: UL Bohemians, Naas and Old Wesley or UCC

Relegated: Galwegians or Dolphin (automatic), one club to face play-offs (Galwegians, Dolphin, Ballymena or Shannon)


Corinthians v Blackrock College, Corinthian Park
Malone v Cashel, Gibson Park
Nenagh Ormond v Belfast Harlequins, New Ormond Park
Queens University v Highfield, Dub Lane
Sundays Well v Banbridge, Musgrave

Division 2A champions/Promoted: Banbridge or Highfield

Division 1B promotion/relegation play-off semi-finals: Saturday, April 22 (9th Div 1B v 4th Div 2A, 2nd Div 2A v 3rd Div 2A); Division 1B promotion/relegation play-off final: Saturday, April 29

Division 2A clubs to contest promotion/relegation play-offs: Nenagh Ormond, Malone and Banbridge or Highfield

Relegated: Belfast Harlequins (automatic), Sunday’s Well (play-offs)


Armagh v Bective Rangers, Palace Grounds
Greystones v Old Crescent, Dr Hickey Park
MU Barnhall v Dungannon, Parsonstown
Skerries v City of Derry, Holmpatrick
Thomond v Wanderers, Liam Fitzgerald Park

Champions/Promoted: Greystones or ArmaghDivision 2A promotion/relegation play-off semi-finals: Saturday, April 22 (9th Div 2A v 4th Div 2B, 2nd Div 2B v 3rd Div 2B); Division 2A promotion/relegation play-off final: Saturday, April 29

Division 2B clubs to contest promotion/relegation play-offs: Wanderers, Old Crescent and Greystones or Armagh

Relegated: Thomond (automatic), one club to face play-offs (Skerries, City of Derry or Bective Rangers).


Bruff v Boyne, Killballyowen Park
Kanturk v Midleton, Knocknacolon
Navan v Sligo, Balreask Old
Rainey v Bangor, Hatrick Park
Tullamore v Seapoint, Spollanstown

Champions/Promoted: Navan or Sligo

Division 2B promotion/relegation play-off semi-finals: Saturday, April 22 (9th Div 2B v 4th Div 2C, 2nd Div 2C v 3rd Div 2C); Division 2B promotion/relegation play-off final: Saturday, April 29Division 2C clubs to contest promotion/relegation play-offs: Rainey Old Boys, Tullamore and Navan or Sligo

Relegated: Kanturk or Boyne (automatic), one club to face play-offs (Kanturk or Boyne)


Round Robin champions/Promoted: Malahide

Division 2C promotion/relegation play-off: Ninth-placed club in Division 2C (at home) v Round Robin runners-up, Saturday, April 29

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