Sunday 19 November 2017

game OF THE WEEKEND

Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Young Munster v Clontarf, Tom Clifford Park, 2.30

League leaders Clontarf face a stern test of their title credentials with a trip to Limerick to face in-form Young Munster today.

Clontarf beat the Cookies at the end of November and come into the game having won eight on the bounce.

Young Munster still harbour title hopes and a win in Tom Clifford Park would cut Clontarf's eight-point lead over them and put them in with a big shout of winning the league for the first time since 1993.

Clontarf winger Michael McGrath has been in excellent try-scoring form all season – he bagged a hat-trick the last time the two teams met.

But in Brian Haugh and Ger Slattery, the Cookies have two players who featured recently for Munster 'A' in the British & Irish Cup.

Young Munster remain the only side from outside Dublin in the top five of the league. Although Clontarf will be eager to stretch their lead at the top over Old Belvedere, the trip to Limerick should be one of the toughest games they face this season.

Prediction: Young Munster

THE EDDIE O'SULLIVAN

EFFECT

Garryowen's hopes of pulling off the most unlikely of relegation survivals was handed a significant boost earlier in the month with the news that former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan has come on board in an advisory role.

They are rooted to the foot of the table, without a single win all season and are 12 points adrift. O'Sullivan's first task is to somehow inspire a win against last season's champions Lansdowne.

Given that they are also still in the title race, Lansdowne will be keen to spoil O'Sullivan's first game back.

MID-TABLE TEAMS

LOOKING FOR FORM

Cork Con play host to early pacesetters UCD today in a game that both sides desperately need to win.

They sit fifth and sixth respectively, but with the talent that both have at their disposal, a mid-table position is hugely disappointing.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

149Difference between the number of points scored by the league's top scorers (Lansdowne) and the lowest (Garryowen). The sides meet today.

ULSTER BANK LEAGUE

FIXTURES

(2.30 unless stated)

Division 1A

Ballynahinch v Dolphin, Ballymacarn Pk; Cork Con v UCD, Temple Hill; Lansdowne v Garryowen, Aviva; Old Belvedere v St Mary's, Anglesea Rd; Young Munster v Clontarf, Tom Clifford Pk.

Division 1B

Blackrock v Shannon, Stradbrook; Buccaneers, v Belfast Harlequins, Dubarry Pk; Corinthians v Dublin U, Corinthian Pk; UL Bohemian v Terenure Col, Thomond Pk.

Division 2A

Ballymena v Cashel, Eaton Pk; Banbridge v City of Derry, Rifle Pk; Bective Rgs v Old Crescent, Donnybrook; Galwegians v UCC, Crowley Pk; Highfield v Seapoint, Woodleigh Pk; Naas v Bruff, Forenaughts; Queens v Old Wesley, Dub Lane; Rainey OB v NUIM Barnhall, Hatrick Pk.

Division 2B

Ards v Skerries, Hamilton Pk; Armagh v Boyne, Palace Grounds; DLS v Sligo, Kirwan Pk; Midleton v Instonians, Towns Pk; Nenagh Ormond v Navan RFC, New Ormond Park; Sundays Well v Richmond, Musgrave Pk; Suttonians v Tullamore, JJ McDowell Memorial Grounds; Thomond v Greystones v Liam Fitzgerald Pk.

Irish Independent

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