Five games into the new season and the AIL Ulster Bank Division 1A is beginning to take shape and this weekend sees a full round of fixtures across the country.
Landsdowne vs UL Bohs, Aviva Stadium back pitch, Saturday 2.30pm
Leaders Landsdowne have made an excellent start to the season, losing only once so far this campaign. The Dublin club also lead the league in points scored and possess a powerful attacking unit that should be too strong for a UL Bohs side that lie eighth in the table. The Limerick outfit do however have a potential game changer in young out half JJ Hanrahan who has featured for Munster already this season.
Dolphin vs Clontarf, Musgrave Park, Saturday 2.30pm
Both sides lost last weekend and will be looking to bounce back with a win. Clontarf endured a particularly harsh last minute defeat to leaders Landsdowne and face another tough trip to Musgrave Park this weekend. Dolphin, too endured a disappointing defeat last time out, falling to local rivals Cork Con. Currently sitting one place ahead of Clontarf in fifth, Dolphin will be hoping to use home advantage to repeat last year’s winning performance in the corresponding fixture.
Old Belvedere vs Cork Constitution, Anglesea Road, Saturday 2.30pm
Cork Con travel to Anglesea Road attempting to keep pace with the two teams ahead of them in the table. If results go Con’s way, they could be sitting atop the table on Saturday night. Old Belvedere on the other hand made a disappointing start to this year’s campaign, losing their first three. They have however appeared to find their winning mentality recently, claiming two consecutive victories to move up the table to seventh.
Shannon vs St.Mary’s, Coonagh, Sunday, 2.30pm
Defending champions St.Mary’s have endured a torrid start to the season. New coach Hugh Hogan has had to shuffle his deck considerably with injuries ravaging the side. Mary’s have only won once this season and desperately need to start moving up the table. The same can be said of Shannon, another giant of the club game propping up the table. Shannon’s defence has been porous at best, having conceded a staggering 172 points in their opening five games.
Young Munster vs Garryowen, Tom Clifford Park, Sunday, 2.30pm
Fourth place Young Munster host second place Garryowen on Saturday and both sides will be looking to keep the pressure up on leaders Landsdowne. Young Munster may, however struggle to break down Garryowen’s watertight defence which has been the best in the league so far this season. Garryowen have lost only once this season and look well equipped to make a genuine run for the title. It should however be noted that Young Munster won last year’s corresponding fixture 21-15 and will be looking for a repeat result.