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Boyne look to Lodge win after festive flop

Club rugby players and supporters all over the province will be hoping that the prolonged winter break of 2010-11 is at an end and that domestic fare will resume as normal this weekend.

Leinster League Division 1A leaders Boyne were one of the few clubs to play in December but lost their unbeaten record in Skerries, against a team featuring Chris Keane (pictured) at scrum-half.

The Drogheda side will therefore be anxious to reassert their authority at the summit when welcoming Co Carlow to Shamrock Lodge tomorrow.

The lengthy lay-off has the propensity to throw up shocks.

Second-placed Dundalk will be hoping to benefit from any slip up by their neighbours when they travel to bottom side Cill Dara. Could this be one of the upsets? The Kildare town club will be encouraged by their 20-13 Hosie Cup Final win over Portarlington last Sunday.

Third-placed Tullamore host much improved Skerries in a game where both sides will be keeping one eye on All Ireland Junior Cup qualification for next year.

In the remaining Division 1A game, last season's two promoted clubs, Coolmine and Newbridge, meet in Ashbrook with the visitors trying to avoid three league defeats in a row against the Dubliners.

Runaway Division 1B leaders Garda host Portarlington on Sunday, and it would constitute one of the surprises of the season if the table toppers lose.

Second-placed Enniscorthy, who trail the pacesetters by seven points, entertain bottom side West Offaly Lions.

Monkstown lie third in the promotion play-off position, a further five points back and they must win in Wicklow to keep the pressure on those above them.

In the final Division 1B game, fourth-placed Portlaoise must win at struggling New Ross if they are to remain credible promotion playoff contenders.

Longford's six-point lead at the top of Division 2 will face stern examination when they travel to fellow promotion chasers Clane.

Second-placed Ashbourne took advantage of playing one of few games in December and should consolidate their position at home to bottom side Wexford Wanderers.

Clondalkin, a point further back in third place, face a much trickier encounter in Mullingar.

There is a battle between the two remaining unbeaten sides in Division 3 Section 'A' as leaders Malahide travel to North Kildare on Sunday.

Athy need to win in Balbriggan to revive their promotion prospects, while Railway Union must do likewise at home to IT Carlow.

In Section 'B' North Meath host unbeaten Guinness, Birr head to Moate to play Midland Warriors, while Rathdrum will be looking to get off the mark at home to Arklow as leaders Swords have the week off.