Saturday 18 November 2017

Leinster Club Rugby: On-song Clontarf in final

Cork Constitution captain Niall Kenneally, centre, pictured with, from left, Ben Reilly of Clontarf, JP Phelan of Garryowen, Michael Courtney of Trinity Rugby, Robbie Smyth of Terenure College, Ian Prendiville of Lansdowne, Alan Gaughan of Buccaneers, Sean McNulty of UCD, Ben Kilkenny of Young Munster, and Ciaran Ruddock of St Mary's College, in attendance during the Ulster Bank League 2017/18 Season Launch at Old Wesley RFC, Donnybrook, in Dublin. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Cork Constitution captain Niall Kenneally, centre, pictured with, from left, Ben Reilly of Clontarf, JP Phelan of Garryowen, Michael Courtney of Trinity Rugby, Robbie Smyth of Terenure College, Ian Prendiville of Lansdowne, Alan Gaughan of Buccaneers, Sean McNulty of UCD, Ben Kilkenny of Young Munster, and Ciaran Ruddock of St Mary's College, in attendance during the Ulster Bank League 2017/18 Season Launch at Old Wesley RFC, Donnybrook, in Dublin. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Dermot O'Mahony

Following the closing series of games last weekend, Clontarf will host Lansdowne in the Senior League Division 1 Final, while Old Wesley, MU Barnhall and Greystones advanced to the Division 2 play-offs; tomorrow the opening round of games in the Ulster Bank League and Division 1A of the Leinster League get under way.

In Division 1B, Clontarf continued their dominant early season form with a six-try 43-7 home win in Castle Avenue over Dublin University and appear to be in tip-top form ahead of their Ulster Bank League Division 1A opening-day trip to Temple Hill to take on Cork Constitution.

Just like their north city rivals, Lansdowne made it three wins out of three in Division 1A on Saturday when they overturned an early 20-point deficit away in Templeville Road before eventually beating St Mary's College 31-20.

The headquarters club will travel to Dubarry Park in Athlone tomorrow for their UBL Division 1A bow against newly-promoted Buccaneers and on Friday, November 10 they will be away to Clontarf in the Senior League Division 1 Final in a game that will also double as an AIL fixture.

Elsewhere in Division 1A of the UBL tomorrow Trinity host Terenure College at College Park in the day's only Dublin derby, St Mary's College will be at home to Garryowen, while UCD are on the road to Limerick where they face Young Munster.

Old Wesley scored six tries as they got the better of Navan 40-21 in Donnybrook last Friday to clinch Division 2A of the Senior League; the following day MU Barnhall went from last to first in an extremely tight Division 2B when they beat Bective Rangers 34-24 at home in Parsontown while the holders Greystones were both convincing winners of Division 2C, where they racked up a maximum 15 points, and at home on Saturday in Dr Hickey Park where they eased past Tullamore 48-3.

The latest renewal of the Leinster League Division 1A commences tomorrow with the winners advancing to the end-of-season AIL Round Robin and a place in Division 2C of the Ulster Bank League as the ultimate prize.

Boyne were relegated from the AIL last season and the Drogheda club begin their quest for a quick return with a trip to Sydney Parade the home of another former AIL club Monkstown.

The other new club in Division 1A are Wicklow who marched relentlessly through Division 1B last season, a year after their Bank of Ireland Towns Cup success, and under the tutelage of former Connacht back-row forward George Naoupu they travel to Kirwan Park tomorrow to play De La Salle Palmerston who are also coached by a vastly experienced Kiwi in Phil Werahiko.

Irish Independent

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