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Thaw sees return to heat of battle

With the thaw having set in, it is hoped that most, if not all, club games can get back to normal as soon as possible.

However, the problem facing clubs this weekend is likely to be water or, more precisely, the ability of pitches to drain away the melted snow along with whatever rainfall comes between now and matchday.

All Leinster League games postponed last weekend have been refixed for Sunday 7 February.

After the long lay-off, it'll be interesting to see which teams are quickly out of the blocks and what impact the break will have on title and relegation battles.

Division 1A

Leaders Seapoint's visit to Cill Dara is the pick of the games in Leinster's premier division tomorrow.

The third-placed Kildare town club are probably too far back to entertain thoughts of outright success, but if they can recapture their November/December form, when they won four matches on the trot before losing to Dundalk in their final game before Christmas, they can put a dint in the title ambitions of the South County Dublin club.

Seapoint were a tad fortunate to emerge with a 19-13 win when they met in October, but that ability to eke out narrow wins when the going gets tough has been their forte all season.

Boyne in second spot are at home to struggling Monkstown (seventh) and will be confident of repeating their 24-10 success from the pair's first meeting as they try to close the five-point gap on the leaders.

Dundalk, in fourth position, are at home to sixth-placed Skerries, and while the County Louth side won their previous encounter 35-10, the Dubliners have improved significantly since.

The final game on the Division 1A schedule is dependant on fifth-paced Tullamore's rearranged visit to Armagh in the AIB Junior Cup -- if that Cup semi-final is postponed again then bottom-of-the-table Portlaoise will play Tullamore tomorrow, otherwise it will be played on Sunday February 14th.

Division 1B

Game of the day in Division 1B will feature leaders Newbridge taking on one of their biggest title rivals when third-placed Coolmine travel to Rosetown on Sunday.

When the sides first met in October, the County Kildare club scored a 25-18 win in one of the best games of the season.

Newbridge will be keen to make it a double over the West Dublin club to maintain their lead at the top.

Waiting in the wings for any slip up are second-placed New Ross who host bottom side Garda, a team they beat 18-15 first time around.

Inconsistent Tullow entertain improved Enniscorthy in a battle between fourth and fifth, the County Carlow side having won the first duel 23-19.

Sixth hosts seventh when Wicklow are at home to Kilkenny, with the prize for the winner being a significant move away from the relegation zone. Kilkenny won the first clash 23-21.

Division 2

Runaway leaders Portarlington are at home to Clane, and while the County Kildare club are comfortably positioned in sixth place they will certainly be hoping to improve on the 19-5 defeat they suffered at the hands of their County Laois rivals near the start of the campaign.

Second-placed Ashbourne visit Longford, the County Meath team having won the first encounter 13-7, while Clondalkin, in third position, will also be trying to repeat a 27-3 opening round win in Roscrea as they try to maintain contact with the leaders with a win over the side in second-last position.

Athy, in fourth, will hope to do the double away to Mulingar after a 26-20 victory when they first clashed.

At the other end of the scale, basement club North Kildare need to win in Gorey, a side two places above them and with whom they drew 14-14 in October.

Division 2

Rathdrum lead a congested leader board in Section A where every team has been beaten at least once (no club has played more than three games) while Balbriggan are the early pacesetters in Section B.


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