Thursday 14 December 2017

Famous faces on a touchline near you BARRY MURPHY (UL BOHEMIANS)


Dolphin v St Mary's, Musgrave Park, 2.30

THE league leaders have been in infallible form in recent weeks but their trip to Cork this afternoon represents a stern test of their credentials.

Although Dolphin started the season like relegation candidates, they have improved in recent games and turned over title-chasing Clontarf and Young Munster at home last month.

The Dubliners would do well to be wary, even if they come into this match on the back of six straight league wins. Peter Smyth's side are the league's form team and they were comfortably too strong for Dolphin when the sides met at Templeville Road in October.

At home, however, the 'Fins are a decent proposition and, in captain Barry Keeshan (right), have a kicker to punish any indiscretion. Christy Condon leads a pack that can intimidate and, if they can get a start on their guests, Dolphin can make life difficult for the leaders.

However, Mary's have realistic title ambitions and, with just two points to spare over the chasing pack, they cannot afford a slip-up.

Darren Hudson's 80 minutes with Leinster removes a potent weapon from their armoury, but with Matt D'Arcy, Stephen Grissing and Mark Sexton in the backline they can still cause damage.

Up front, Hugh Hogan will look to carry the game to the Cork side, while the Sweeney brothers will hope to get on top in the front-row. They should have enough, but they will be tested.

Verdict: Away win


Famous faces on a touchline near you BARRY MURPHY (UL BOHEMIANS)

HE is one of the men who has filled Brian O'Driscoll's Ireland No 13 jersey, but former Munster man Barry Murphy is now helping in Division 1B. The centre was forced to retire after a series of injuries, but despite his young age, he has thrown himself into coaching with his club and while they are just out of the running, a win over Buccaneers can bring them back into contention.


BELFAST HARLEQUINS and Buccaneers lead the way in Division 1B but it is tight at the top of the second tier, with four points separating five teams.

'Quins are facing a difficult trip to Tyrone to face Dungannon, while Buccs are at home to UL Bohs, and Ballymena and Ballynahinch will be hoping to take advantage of any slip-ups. This weekend could have a big say in who goes up to the top flight.

Ulster Bank All-Ireland League fixtures

(2.30 unless stated)

Division 1A

Cork Constitution v Blackrock College, Temple Hill; Dolphin v St Mary's College, Musgrave Park; Garryowen v Lansdowne, Dooradoyle; Old Belvedere v Clontarf, Anglesea Road.

Division 1B

Belfast Bruff v UCD, Kilballyowen Park; Buccaneers v UL Bohemian, Dubarry Park; Dungannon v Belfast Harlequins, Stevenson Park; Galwegians v Ballymena, Crowley Park; UCC v Ballynahinch, Mardyke.

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