It’s back to league action for our six junior league rugby teams this coming Sunday with a few juicy pairings on offer.
In Munster Junior League 1 the top game is certainly the meeting of Newcastle West and Kilfeacle and District in Cullinagh. The Limerick side trail their opponents by a single point after five series of games and they will see this as an opportunity to get their noses ahead in this exciting league race.
Kilfeacle have been in rare form all season. They have impressed in the league and their win over Kilkenny last week-end earned them a place in the semi-final of the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup in which they will be at home to three times champions Ashbourne.
With former Garryowen and St Munchin’s College out-half, Willie Staunton pulling the strings, Kilfeacle will seriously test NCW who struggled to find their rhythm in the first half of the Challenge Cup clash with Richmond last Sunday. Three tries in a blistering late burst in that fixture gave them a late victory but they will be seriously looking at both their discipline and defensive structures going into Sunday’s game.
The meeting of Abbeyfeale and Thomond is also important for both clubs. Thomond’s form of late has been impressive with four victories out of their last six games. Their only defeats were to Kilfeacle in their opening league game and to Newcastle West in the Clubs Challenge Cup and if they can get another win in The Grove, this league will be set up nicely for the royal blues.
Abbeyfeale carved out a victory over Mallow last weekend to advance in the Challenge Cup. They are in mid-table in this league with ten points from their five outings and with home advantage they will be difficult to beat. Richmond make the short trip to Shannon Town to take on St Senan’s and if they can repeat their first half performance last Sunday against Newcastle West for the full 80 minutes, they could well add to their victories over Waterpark, Clanwilliam and Abbeyfeale.
After last Sunday’s collapse in the last 30 minutes, the Canal Bank side will be keen to restore pride and bounce back with a good performance.
Galbally, who have a match in hand against Crosshaven, travel to Ballinakill to play home side Waterpark.
The Bally boys are finding it difficult to drag themselves clear of the lower regions of the table. They put up a good show in their last league outing, sharing the points after a home draw with Skibbereen, and they will be hoping to add to the eight points they have already registered when they take on the Pirates. Next up for Galbally is a visit to Mallow the following week.
In Munster Junior League 2 St Mary’s have a big task when they take the road to Cobh Pirates. They were well beaten last time out on home soil when they went down 19-30 to league leaders Old Christians and they will need to show improvement if they are to get anything out of this fixture. It has been a trick campaign for the ‘Saints’ so far this season with an almost constant number of injuries and some late scores depriving them of precious reward for their efforts.
Hopefully this coming Sunday they will be back to almost full strength and give a performance that would give them a very welcome victory.
Fixtures, kick off 2.30pm (unless otherwise stated):
Saturday, 23rd November: Munster Junior League Division 1 Crosshaven v Clonakilty, Crosshaven;
Munster Junior League Division 3 Youghal v Douglas-Carrigaline, Youghal, 4pm;
Sunday, 24th November:
Munster Junior League Division 1 Abbeyfeale v Thomond, Abbeyfeale.
Clanwilliam v Bandon, Clanwilliam Park.
Newcastle West v Kilfeacle, Newcastle West.
Skibbereen v Mallow, Skibbereen.
St. Senan’s v Richmond, Jim Slattery Park.
Waterpark v Galbally, Ballinakill.
Munster Junior League Division 2 Ballincollig v Muskerry, Tanner Park.
Cobh Pirates v St. Mary’s, Cobh.
Dungarvan v Castleisland, Dungarvan.
Fethard v Thurles, Fethard.
Kinsale v Fermoy, Kinsale.
Old Christians v Kanturk, Rathcooney.
Munster Junior League Division 3 Killorglin v Bantry Bay, Killorglin.
Mitchelstown v Chorca Dhuibhne, Mitchelstown.
Scariff v Killarney, Scariff.
Waterford City v Ennis, Waterford.