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Domestic Rugby Preview 08/12/2018

6 days ago By Jim Lyttle

George Millar's round-up & preview


The top two teams both lost at the weekend with Malone losing at Banbridge and Naas going down at home to St Mary’s College. Banbridge bounced back from two AIL defeats to win 21 – 11 with St Mary’s winning back to back games in the AIL to move up into 5th place. Ballynahinch came back from a 13 – 12 deficit at Donnybrook to win 27 – 16 with Ulster full back Peter Nelson contributing 17 points.. City of Armagh found conceding 24 points in the first 20 minutes at Dubarry Park against Buccaneers too much of a mountain to overcome despite denying the Connacht side any points in the second half as they staged a comeback to end up losing 24 – 17 and secure a valuable losing bonus point. 10th Ballymena scored four tries at home to Old Belvedere to secure the bonus point in their 28 – 14 win to move up to three points behind the Dublin side in 9th place.

Looking at the league table two points now separate the top five teams with Rounds 8 and 9 completing the first half of the AIL fixture schedule before the Xmas break. Malone remain in 1st place followed by Naas in 2nd with Banbridge and Ballynahinch in 3rd and 4th place followed by St Mary’s College in 5th place. Seven points now separate the teams in 6th to 10th place. Armagh are 6th followed by Old Wesley and Buccaneers in 7th and 8th place with Old Belvedere and Ballymena in 9th and 10th .

Matches to be played by Ulster teams in Round 8 and 9.
Malone - Old Wesley (H) and Ballynahinch (A)
Banbridge – St Mary’s College (A) City of Armagh (H)
Ballynahinch – Ballymena (A) Malone (H)
City of Armagh – Naas (H) Banbridge (A)
Ballymena – Ballynahinch (H) Buccaneers (A)

It was a case off Queens suffering another narrow defeat away from home to 3rd place Naas 24 – 17 with the students now trailing the league leaders Highfield by 13 points in 4th place. Three away defeats to Navan RFC, UL Bohemians and Nenagh Ormond have the team looking at the teams closing in behind them as seven points now separate the teams in 4th – 9th place. The task does not get any easier for Queens with in form Cashel the visitors to the Dub this weekend.

Matches to be played by Queens Uni in Round 8 and 9
Queens – Cashel (H) Dolphin (A)

Rainey OB made it four back to back wins in the AIL winning a keenly contested game with Ulster neighbours Belfast Harlequins 10 – 7 at Hat- trick Park. The win has moved them into the playoffs in 4th place four points behind 3rd place Wanderers. The valuable losing bonus point keeps Belfast Harlequins in 8th place one point ahead of Ulster rivals Dungannon who lost 28 – 3 at Wanderers and now find themselves in 9th place. Looking at the league table and upcoming fixtures - Belfast Harlequins will be looking their first home win in the AIL this season when they welcome 10th place Skerries to Deramore Park with Quins having a three point advantage over their opponents. Dungannon welcome league leaders Greystones to Stevenson Park on Saturday with the Wicklow side having scored 285 points and conceded 88 points in seven matches this season. A daunting fixture for Head coach Andy Hughes and his Dungannon playing squad. A win for Skerries and a defeat for Dungannon will see the two Ulster sides occupy 9th and 10th place.

Matches to be played by Ulster sides in Round 8 and 9
Rainey OB – Sunday’s Well (A) Dungannon (H)
Belfast Harlequins – Skerries (H) Sligo (A)
Dungannon – Greystones (H) Rainey OB (A)

4th place Omagh found their weekend trip to Munster another challenge for the team after back row forward Adam Longwell was red carded after 35 minutes with the match referee also issuing four yellow cards against the County Tyrone side. Despite this the team somehow managed to pick up a valuable losing point from their 23 – 17 defeat and hold on to 4th place. Bangor dug deep to win a crucial game at Seapoint 12 – 10 with Curtis Stewart and Lewis Stevenson scoring the all important tries to secure a win that keeps them on 20 points alongside Omagh in 5th place. City of Derry scored three tries including one from Captain Stephen Corr to defeat Thomond 19 – 13 at the Craig Thompson Stadium. The win keeps City of Derry in 7th place with eight points separating the teams in 6th – 10th place.

Matches to be played by Ulster teams in Round 8 and 9
Omagh – Seapoint (H) Bangor (A)
Bangor – Ballina (A) Omagh (H)
City of Derry – Midleton (A) Ballina (H)

After Round 9 the teams will have a four week break from AIL matches before the Round 10 fixtures resume on Saturday 19th January 2019. The fixtures in Round 10 – 12 will be a reverse of the fixtures played in Round 7 – 9. These six games are crucial for the ambitions of the Ulster teams before the final fixtures are played in Round 13 – 18.


Clontarf 13 Cork Constitution 16
Shannon 15 Lansdowne32
Terenure College v Garryowen 17
Young Munster 34 UCD 34
UCC 28 Dublin Uni 14

Naas 8 St Mary’s College 23
Ballymena 28 Old Belvedere 14
Ballymena team: 1. Josh Bill, 2. John Andrews, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. Connor Smyth, 6. Clive Ross, 7. Marcus Rea (Capt), 8. Matthew Rea, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Tim Small, 11. Darrell Montgomery, 12. Alan Smyth, 13. Matthew Norris, 14. Jordan Foster, 15. Rodger McBurney, 16. Nacho Clandero Crespo, 17. Jonny Spence, 18. Stephen Mulholland, 19. Johnny McMullan, 20. Eoin Ritson.
Points scorers: Connor Smyth 2 x tries, Marcus Rea 1 x try, 1 x penalty try, Timothy Small 3 x cons.

Banbridge 21 Malone 11
Banbridge team: 1. Michael Cromie (Capt) , 2. Peter Cromie, 3. Stuart Cromie, 4.Christopher Allen, 5. Michael Bentley, 6. Greg Jones, 7. Caleb Montgomery, 8. Stephen Irvine, 9. Jonathan Stewart, 10. Josh Cromie, 11. John Porter, 12. Jonathan little, 13. Andrew Morrison, 14. Conor Field, 15. Adam Doherty, 16. Jonathan Weir, 17. Ross Haughey, 18. Matthew Laird, 19. Niall Armstrong, 20 Benjamin Carson.
Points scorers: Stephen Irvine, Andrew Morrison 1 x try each, Adam Doherty 1 x con and 3 x pens.

Malone team: 1. Ben Halliday, 2. Dan Kerr, 3. Peter Cooper, 4. Jonathan Davis, 5. Michael Shiels, 6. Matthew Hadden, 7. Ross Todd (Capt), 8. Ryan Clarke, 9. Shane Kelly, 10. Callum Smith, 11. Nathan Brown, 12. Josh Pentland, 13.Stewart Moore, 14. David McMaster, 15. Rory Campbell, 16. Dave Cave, 17. Ricky Greenwood, 18. Josh Davidson, 19. Graham Curtis, 20. Gareth Millar.
Points scorers: Peter Cooper 1 x try, Rory Campbell 1 x pen Callum Smith 1 x pen.

Buccaneers 24 v City of Armagh 17
City of Armagh team: 1. Paul Mullan, 2. Andrew Smyth, 3. Philip Fletcher, 4. Josh McKinley, 5. Peter Starrett, 6. Jonny Morton, 7. James Hanna, 8. Robert Whitten, 9.Harry Doyle, 10. Cormac Fox, 11. Ryan Purvis, 12. Jonny Pollock, 13. Chris Colvin (Capt), 14. Andrew Willis, 15. Tim McNiece, 16.Peter Lamb, 17. Oisin McKiernan, 18. James Morton, 19. John Faloon, 20. Shea O’Brien.
Points scorers: Chris Colvin, Andrew Smyth 1 x try each, Cormac Fox 2 x cons and 1 x pen.

Old Wesley 16 Ballynahinch 27
Ballynahinch team: 1.Kyle McCall, 2. Zach McCall, 3. Tommy O’Hagan, 4. John Donnan, 5. Tom Martin, 6. Keith Dickson, 7. Ollie Loughead, 8. Conall Boomer, 9. Rhys O’Donnell, 10. Hilton Gibbons, 11. Aaron Cairns (Capt), 12. Robin Harte, 13. Callum McLaughlin, 14. Richard Reaney, 15. Peter Nelson, 16. Clayton Milligan, 17. Campbell Classon, 18. Connor Phillips, 19. Ryan Wilson, 20. Ross Adair.
Points scorers: Campbell Classon, Ross Adair 1 x try each, Peter Nelson 1 x con and 5 x pens ( 17 x points).

Cashel RFC 24 UL Bohemians 20
Old Crescent 29 Nenagh Ormond 15
Dolphin 20 v Blackrock College 16
Highfield 40 Galwegians 19

Navan RFC 24 Queens University 17
Queens University team: 1. Andrew Weir, 2. Alexander Clarke, 3. Brian Cunningham, 4. David Whitten(Capt), 5. Ali Burke, 6. Andrew McGrath, 7. Gary Dillon, 8. James Catterson, 9. Matthew Keane, 10. Richie McMaster, 11. Jonny Hunter, 12. Rory Bell, 13. Michael Orr, 14. Mark Keane, 15. Jonny Milliken, 16. David Swann, 17. Nicky Woods, 18. Curtis Pollock, 19. James Longwell, 20. Angus Kernohan.
Points scorers: Matthew Keane and Rory Bell 1 x try each, Richie McMaster 2 x cons and 1 x pen.

Galway Corinthians 7 MU Barnhall 18
Greystones 53 Sunday’s Well 17
Skerries 19 Sligo 27

Rainey OB 10 v Belfast Harlequins 7
Rainey OB team: 1.Jack McIntosh, 2. George Fritz, 3. Kieran Donaghy, 4. Timmy Barker, 5. John McCusker, 6. Michael Caithness, 7. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 8. Michael McCusker, 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Andrew Donaghy, 12. Damien McMurray, 13. Oisin Quinn, 14. Scott McLean, 15. Michael O’Neill, 16. Fintan Quinn, 17. Michael Nevin, 18. Andrew Browne, 19. Caolan Devlin, 20 Conor Fitzsimons.
Points scorers: Penalty try, Andrew Magrath 1 x pen.

Belfast Harlequins: 1. Mark McGrath, 2. Saul Herdman, 3. Charlie Sairgason, 4. Danny Annett (Capt), 5. Troy Webber, 6. Toby Mannus, 7. Jaz Andress, 8. Ben Alexander, 9. Connor Young, 10. Timmy Emerson, 11. James McConnell, 12. Mark Gribben, 13. Kyle Adams, 14. Peter Dunlop, 15. Marl Glover, 16. Matthew Borne, 17. Tom Fraser, 18. Daryl Marshall, 19. David Devine, 20. Mark Kettyle.
Points scorers: mark Glover 1 x try, Mark Gribben 1 x con.

Wanderers 28 Dungannon 3
Dungannon team: 1. Glen Sinnamon, 2. Daniel Maxwell, 3. Jonathan Gamble, 4. Guilhem lopez, 5. Alex Gormley, 6. David Leyburn, 7. Mark Riddell, 8. Jonah Mau’u, 9. John Russell, 10. Conor McGeough, 11. Caolan Mulgrew, 12. Lucca Lavelli, 13. Mervyn Brown, 14. Matthew Montgomery, 15. Andrew McGregor, 16. James McNeill, 17. Sean O’Hagan, 18. Adam Milligan, 19. Adam Evans, 20. John Buckley.
Points scorers: John Russell 1 x pe

Ballina 29 Midleton 20
Bruff 23 Omagh 17
City of Derry 19 Thomond 13
Seapoint 10 Bangor 12
Tullamore 16 Malahide 12

The 24 – 22 defeat of League leaders Ballyclare by Instonians at Shaws bridge has narrowed their lead over second place Instonians to five points. The match was a game of two halves with Instonians building a commanding 21 – 7 lead at halftime only for the County Antrim side to stage a second half comeback to outscore their opponents by 4 tries to 3 narrowly lose by two points. By denying Instonians the bonus point from scoring four tries and picking up the valuable second point Ballyclare will remain favourites to pick up the league title. The five points deducted off Dromore would have meant the Ballyclare lead being reduced to one point with both Dromore and Ballyclare due to meet at Barban Hill on Saturday the 29th December. Dromore and Grosvenor remain in contention after wins over Portadown and Coleraine on Saturday with both teams meeting at Gibson Park this weekend. Can Cooke make it into the top four after winning 24 – 13 at Carrickfergus. With a game in hand on the top four a win over CIYMS at Shaws bridge this week can boost their chances.

The six teams in 6th – 10th place are now separated by 11 points with Enniskillen picking up a bonus point in their 27 – 18 win over CIYMS at Mullaghmeen. The remaining teams Portadown, Carrickfergus, CIYMS and Coleraine all lost with one point separating the teams in 6th – 9th place. Coleraine have lost their last four league matches and find themselves five points adrift of CIYMS in 9th place. Both teams face difficult games away to Cooke and Ballyclare this weekend. Carrickfergus have lost their last four league games and will find points difficult to come by when Instonians are the visitors to the Tom Simms Memorial Park on Saturday.

Three points separate the top four teams in this league with Limavady and Academy in 3rd and 4th place having a game in hand on leaders Randalstown and second place Clogher Valley. Can 5th place Ballymoney who have two games in hand on the top two teams close the gap and become contenders during December with games against Clogher Valley, Larne and Academy. Their Head coach Johnny Hanna believes so. Academy maintained their challenge with a 18 – 5 win over Clogher Valley with Randalstown and Limavady having to work hard for their wins over Larne and Lurgan.

It has become the mostly keenly contested league challenge in this league in recent years. As the coaches keep pointing out to me bonus points could become crucial in deciding the winners and runners up. The second place team will go into a playoff against the team that finishes in 9th place in Div 1. Last season Portadown defeated Randasltown in the play off match to keep their place in Div 1. Randalstown are looking to go one step further this season and win the league. Clogher Valley, Limavady , Academy and potentially Ballymoney will have a big say. Fascinating contest.

Ards, Lurgan and Larne will contest the 6th – 8th placings this season.

Both 9th place Lisburn and 10th place UUC remain without a win and need to pick up league points. UUC won a playoff against Donaghadee to keep their place in Div 2 last season. They will have a battle with Lisburn to avoid the automatic relegation place.

Donaghadee who missed out on promotion last season through the playoffs after finishing runners up to Lurgan have made their intentions quite clear this season and that is to win the league. After 11 x matches they have a 12 x point advantage on second place Monaghan who had their league match at Holywood postponed last Saturday. With 53 points from a maximum 55 points only two teams in the league have denied them the bonus point win. Interesting situation in the battle for second place and the playoff match against the 9th place team in Div 2 for promotion - Monaghan would appear to be clear favourites but Holywood under Alasdair McKee have made their intentions clear as they pursue Monaghan for second place. The North Down club find themselves eight points behind Monaghan with a rearranged league match from last weekend to be played at Kerr Park against Monaghan as they look to close the gap.

Carrickfergus 13 Cooke 24
Carrickfergus team: 1. Stuart Cheshire, 2.Alan Whitley, 3. James Graham, 4. Ian McMenamin, 5. Chris Rodgers, 6. Ryan Gibson, 7. Ross Crymble, 8. Curtis Rea, 9. Conor Cambridge, 10. David Carse, 11. Brian Alexander, 12. Adam White, 13. Jack Burton, 14. Fionn McCormick, 15. Michael Black, 16. Robert O’Callaghan, 17.Gareth McKeown.
Points scorers: Alan Whitley 2 x tries, Fionn McCormick 1 x pen.

Cooke team: 1. Jonathan McClune, 2. Curtis Montgomery, 3. Ian Moxen, 4. Matthew Crothers, 5. Jonathan Walsh, 6. Matthew Elliott, 7. Callum Robinson, 8. Jason Lyons, 9. Ryan Flavelle, 10. Alan Gourley, 11. Phil Wood, 12. Andrew Hanna, 13. Philip Cartmill, 14. Andrew Nelson, 15. Alex Gourley. 16. M McCormick, 17. Ian Anderson.
Points scorers: Ryan Flavelle, Matthew Elliott 1 x try each, Alan Gourley 1 x con and 4 x pens.

Coleraine 0 Grosvenor 29
Coleraine team; 1. Cillian Butler, 2. David Greatorex, 3. Chris Breadon, 4. DD McAllister,5. Josh Christie, 6. Simon McLean, 7. Bernard Mullan, 8. Steven Dickey, 9. Bruce Kirkpatrick, 10. Gavin Piennar, 11. Brian Cochrane, 12. Martin Senk, 13. Robin Sidla, 14. Bradley Dempster, 15. Stevie Callaghan, 16. R Simpson, 17. Marel Juzl.

Grosvenor team: 1. Mark Rainey, 2. Stuart Smyth, 3. Willy Rea, 4. Peter Dawson, 5. Willy Rea, 6. Sam Purdon, 7. Andrew Kelly, 8. Connor McKee, 9. Neil Adams. 10. Peter Davison, 11. David Egner, 12. Jos McConkey, 13. Jamie McMullan, 14. Dean Swift, 15. Mark Johnston, 16. Ben Davies, 17. Kris Busby.
Points scorers: Dean Swift 3 x tries, Andrew Kelly 1 x try, 1 x try, Peter Davison 2 x cons

Dromore 20 Portadown 3
Justy Savage, 2. Stuart Sloan, 3. Tom Lyttle, 4. Jonny Maguire, 5.Matthew McMaster, 6. Adam MacGregor, 7. Peter Elliott, 8. Ben Heath, 9. Lee Steenson, 10. David Lyttle, 11. Andrew Gilmore, 12. Graeme McCandless, 13. Andrew Rutledge, 14. Brian McClearn, 15. Aaron Stewart, 16., 17. Ross Bingham.
Points scorers: Brian McClearn, Aaron Stewart 1 x try each, Lee Steenson 2 x cons and 2 x pens.

Portadown team: 1. Mark Henderson, 2. Robbie Reid, 3. Matthew Davison, 4. Matt Stevens, 5. James Wright, 6. Gary Hall, 7. Jordan Taylor, 8. Lloyd Gravitt, 9. Brian Forrestal, 10. Brett Fleck, 11. Tom Ceasar, 12. Mark Adamson, 13. Josh Matchett, 14. Jack Orr, 15. Luke Ashotn, 16. Mark Neilly, 17 Aaron Abraham.
Points scorers: Mark Adamson 1 x pen

Enniskillen 27 CIYMS 18
Enniskillen team: 1. Gavin Warrington, 2. Ryan Cathcart (Capt), 3. Alan Ferguson, 4. David Buchanan, 5. Gavin Parke, 6. Jamie Kelly, 7. Jack Rutledge, 8. James Carleton, 9. Matthew Dane, 10. Adam Lendrum, 11. Mark O’Shea, 12. Nick Finlay, 13. James Ferguson, 14. Conor Hoy, 15. Donagh O’Callaghan, 16. 16. Dave Patton, 17. J Arnold.

CIYMS team: No details available.

Instonians 24 Ballyclare 22
Instonians team: 1. Conor Gallagher, 2. Cameron Barr, 3. John Andress, 4. Alan Whitten, 5. Sean Shuttleworth, 6. Paddy Bell, 7. Massimo Kiri Kiri, 8. James Martin, 9. Paul Marshall, 10. Richard McCarthy, 11. Colm Cregan, 12. David Scott (Capt), 13. Matthew Kilpatrick, 14. Donal Moloney, 15. Andrew Keane, 16. Johnny Mooney, 17. Tom Matthews.
Points scorers: Sean Shuttleworth, Alan Whitten, Matthew Kilpatrick 1 x try each, Andrew Keane 3x cons and 1 x pen

Ballyclare team; 1. Dean Jones, 2. Matthew Coulter, 3. Al Boyd, 4. Robert Boyd, 5. Grant Bartley (Capt), 6. Paul Robinson, 7. Gary Weatherup, 8. Ryan Tweed, 9. Andy Eastop, 10. Robbie Reid, 11. Michael Kirk, 12. Joel McBride, 13. Willie Stewart, 14. Owen Kirk, 15. Gary Clotworthy, 16. Rory Henderson, 17. Niall Lawther.
Points scorers: Michael Kirk, Paul Robinson, Willie Stewart, Owen Kirk 1 x try each, Robbie Reid 1 x con


City of Armagh seconds 27 Ballynahinch seconds 21
City of Armagh team: 1. Philip Matthews, 2. Jack Treanor, 3. John Clarke, 4. Ryan Morton, 5. Stephen Morton (Capt), 6. Joshua Kennedy, 7. Stuart Hooks, 8. Neil Faloon, 9. Gerard Treanor, 10. Harry Boyd, 11. Ollie Millar, 12. Evin Crummie, 13. Luke Crozier, 14. Kyle Faloon, 15. Chris Cousens, 16. Eoin O’Hagan, 17. Matthew Steenson.
Points scorers: Ollie Millar, Jack Sleator, Luke Crozier, Chris Cousens 1 x try each, Kyle Faloon 2 x cons and 1 x pen.

Ballynahinch seconds team: No details available.


Academy 18 Clogher Valley 5
Academy team: 1. Chris Nash, 2. Lee Moody, 3. Troy Wilson, 4. Brian Cahill, 5. Keith Dobbin, 6. Stuart Martin, 7. Jamie Watts, 8. Richard Henderson (Capt), 9. David Kenny, 10. Jordan Buchanan, 11. Simon Beattie, 12. Jamie Wilson, 13. Mark Wylie, 14. Steven Fawcett, 15. Chris Cooper, 16. Cathal Davis. 17. Peter Jackson.
Points scorers: Richard Henderson, Chris Nash 1 x try each, Chris Cooper 1 x con and 2 x pens.

Clogher Valley team: 1. Philip Hopper, 2. Kyle Cobane, 3.Neil Henderson, 4. Eugene McKenna, 5. Michael Treanor, 6. Aaron Dunwoody, 7. David Sharkey, 8. Ryan Wilson, 9. Mark Ellis, 10. Reece Smyton, 11. Josh Coulter, 12. Andy Johnson, 13. Fleming Agnew, 14. Sam Odor, 15. Ewan Haire, 16. BJ Wilson, 17. Mark McKenna.
Points scorers: Kyle Cobane 1 x try

Lurgan 12 Limavady 19
Lurgan team: 1. Graham Currie, 2. Lewis Lawson, 3. Andrew Gray, 4. Neil Adamson, 5. Matthew McConaghy, 6. Lee Allen, 7. Ryan Osbourne, 8. Daniel Lyness, 9. Chris Jenks, 10. Dylan Gill, 11. Richard Hull, 12. Jack Wilson, 13. Ben McIIwaine (capt), 14. Ryan Mooney, 15. Stephen Nolan, 16. Marty Follis, 17. Sam Longstaff.
Points scorers: Sam Longstaff , Ryan Mooney 1 x try each, Stephen Nolan 1 x con.

Limavady team: 1. Clive Scott, 2. Luke Montgomery, 3. John McCollum, 4. Daniel Irvine, 5. John Purcell, 6. Ben Riley, 7. Jonny Lees, 8. Darren Corrigan, 9. Stuart Simpson, 10. Jim McCartney, 11. Stuart Roddy, 12. Jody McMurray, 13. Matthew Haslett, 14. Mark Woods, 15. Graham McAleese, 16. Michael Rice, 17. David Craig.
Points scorers: Darren Corrigan, Jody McMurray 1 x try each, Jim McCartney 1 x try and 2 x cons

Randalstown 26 Larne 11
Randalstown team: 1. Matty McBrien, 2. Scott Stevenson, 3. Gary Hume, 4. Dean McCroary, 5. David Millar, 6. Scott McClenaghan, 7. Ian Hume, 8. David Smith (Capt), 9. Tommy Holland, 10. Martin Connolly, 11. Coby Mason, 12. Dale Morrow, 13. Conor Murray, 14. Eoin Letters, 15. Michael Smith, 16. Tony O’Hagan, 17. Daniel McGlade.
Points scorers: Tommy Holland, David Smith 1 x try each, 1 x penalty try, Martin Connolly 3 x pens.

Larne team: 1.Luke Burford, 2. Craig Gibson, 3. Micah Stevenson, 4. Matt Crampsey, 5. Jonny Cole (capt), 6. Gareth Jamison, 7. Colin McKinstry, 8. Eddie Hunter, 9. Ryan Garrett, 10. BJ McFaul, 11. Anton White, 12. Johnny Ogilby, 13. Jacob Swann, 14. Matthew Agnew, 15. Aaron McBride, 16. Andrew Hyndman, 17 N/K
Points scorers: Craig Gibson 1 x try, Aaron McBride 2 x pens.

Ards 0 Ballymena seconds 8
Ards team: Details not known

Ballymena seconds team: 1. Andrew Ferguson, 2. James Taggart, 3. Houston Bonnar, 4. Reuben Russell, 5. Inoke Knox, 6. Ryan Mattison, 7. Matthew Dick, 8. Willy McKay, 9. Chris Smyth, 10. Steven Shaw, 11. Jack Lewis, 12. Sam Millar, 13. Scott Agnew, 14. Jack Fleming, 15. Scott Willoughby, 16. Ashton Logan, 17. Mark Foster.
Points scorers: Andrew Ferguson 1 x try, Sam Millar 1 x pen.

Ballymoney 24 Omagh seconds 18
Ballymoney team:1. Peter Irvine, 2. Kenny McAneaney, 3. John McFetridge, 4. Jack Hyndman, 5.russell Blair, 6. Garvin Bellingham, 7. David McKeeman, 8. Daniel Ramage, 9. Matthew Steele, 10 Martin Irwin, 11. Matthew Bell, 12. Chris Watson, 13. Connor Creith, 14. James Cleland, 15. John Hyndman, 16. Jack Anderson, 17. Matthew Bell, John McFetridge 1 x try each, John Hyndman 3 x cons and 1 x pen

Omagh seconds team; 1. Ethan McKeown, 2. Gary Smith, 3. Nathan Kilfedder, 4. Glen McKinley, 5. Jack Mitchell, 6. Michael Gibson, 7. Dean Porter, 8. Matthew Clyde, 9. Adam Beattie, 10. Kyle Beattie, 11. Peter Scott, 12. Taine Lagan, 13. Dean Kane, 14. Ben Scott, 15. David Ward, 16. Matthew Sproule, 17. Oscar Nelson.
Points scorers: Peter Scott, Matthew Clyde 1 x try each, David Ward 2 x cons and 1 x pen.

Lisburn 7 Banbridge seconds 30

Lisburn team: No details available.

Banbridge seconds team: 1. Andrew Jackson, 2. John Wilson, 3. Scott Cromie, 4. Robin Hewitt, 5. Keith Adams, 6. Alex Megaw, 7. Paul Ross, 8. Dale Carson, 9. Robin Thompson, 10. MacCauley Little, 11. Ben Cross, 12. Hugo Harbinson, 13. Ross Cartmill, 14. Adam Buller, 15. Ben Thompson, 16. Joe McQuade, 17. Grant Murphy.
Points scorers: Alex Megaw, Ben Thompson, Joe McQuade 1 x try each, MacCauley Little 3 x cons and 3 x pens ( 15 x points)

Malone seconds 38 UUC 23
Malone seconds team: 1. Ali Barnes, 2. Connor Kelly, 3. Seif El Deen, 4.Gary Crawford, 5. Lee Barlow, 6. Stuart Doddington, 7. Tiarnan Dillon, 8. Max Porter (Capt), 9. Callum Jeffrey, 10. Connor Spence, 11. Chris tait, 12. Ricky McCullough, 13. Andy McConnell, 14. Liam Cosgrove, 15. Bruce Duff, 16. Austin Blackburn, 17. Charlie Shannon.
Points scorers: Gary Crawford, Stuart Doddington, Connor Spence, Callum Jeffrey, Max Porter 1 x try each, Bruce Duff 1 x try and 4 x cons.

UUC team: 1. Gary Burke, 2. Michael Smyth, 3. Oisin Craig, 4. Jake Stevenson, 5. Dan Morgan (Capt), 6. Zeus Joe, 7. Sam McComb, 8. Ben Davison, 9. John Allen, 10. Adam Johnston, 11. Lewis henry, 12. Jacob Cavanagh, 13. Ryan Ashfield, 14. Neil Stewart, 15. Hayden Maxwell, 16. Peter Hugh, 17. Sam Hall.
Points scorers: Hayden Maxwell, John Allen 1 x try each, Adam Johnston 1 x try, 1 x con and 2 x pens.

Cavan 36 BHSFP 26
Civil Service 26 Newry 19
Donaghadee 22 Virginia 0
Holywood v Monaghan. Postponed water logged pitch.
Ophir 7 v Strabane 33
PSNI 35 Letterkenny 14


Garryowen (5) v Shannon (6). Played Friday 7.12.18. KO 8PM
Clontarf (2) v Dublin Uni (4)
Cork Constitution (1) v Young Munster (8)
Lansdowne (3) v UCC (9)
UCD (7) v Terenure College (10)

Ballymena(10) v Ballynahinch (4)
City of Armagh (60 v Naas (2)
Malone (1) v Old Wesley (7)
Old Belvedere (9) v Buccaneers (8)
St Mary’s College (5) v Banbridge (3)

Ballymena v Ballynahinch
This is the second meeting of the two teams at Eaton Park this season. Ballymena having lost their Premiership game 20 – 17 on the 8.9.18. The teams will meet twice in January. First up will be their First Trust Senior Cup semi Final at Eaton Park on Saturday 5th January followed by their return AIL game at Ballymacarn Park on the 26th January. Both teams need the league points this weekend for different reasons. Ballymena to move away from 10th place in the league and Ballynahinch to build on their back to back wins to maintain their promotion challenge.

For Ballymena it is a case of improving their performances against fellow Ulster teams after losing to Malone, City of Armagh and Banbridge. Ballynahinch drew their game at home to City of Armagh and won their match at home to Banbridge two weeks ago.

Can Ballymena make it three wins at home after defeating St Mary’s College and Old Belvedere. One of their stand out performers has been second row Connor Smyth who has scored four tries in his last four games including a brace against Old Belvedere.

The presence of Ulster props Kyle McCall and Tommy O’Hagan has strengthened the Ballynahinch front row with Ulster full back Peter Nelson contributing 17 x points at Old Wesley. Two weeks in a row former Ulster and Jersey winger Ross Adair has made a significant impact off the bench for the clubs second xv and the 1st xv by scoring crucial tries in his comeback from a long term injury.

Ballymena Head coach Andy Graham was delighted with the manner of the teams performance in defeating Old Belvedere last weekend. The team were more clinical and put in a big physical performance against their Dublin opponents with the backs putting in one of their best performances of the season. With Alan Smyth picking up an injury last Thursday night Darrell Montgomery came in to partner Matthew Norris in the centre with Johnny McMullan replacing Montgomery on the wing and James Wheeler coming on to the bench. Jordan Foster presented a threat on the wing with Matthew Norris impressing in the centre against Old Belvedere. The coaches recognise their is much work to be done with the playing squad but they are seeing a big improvement week to week with 40 + players at training on Tuesday night enabling the coaches to put out two sides against each other. As Andy Graham put it the destiny of the 1st xv this season is all in their own hands. The team continue to develop with a huge improvement being made since pre season. The goal for the coaches and players is to build strength in depth and maintain their performances each week.

Both Connor Smyth and David Whann raised their performance playing alongside John Andrew’s, Matthew Rea, Marcus Rea and Clive Ross in the forwards with Josh Bill making an impact in the front row last Saturday.

Injury doubts remain over Connor Smyth, JJ McKee and Matthew Norris for this week with these players undergoing late fitness tests on Thursday night. Work commitments will determine whether Jordan Foster is released. Glenn Baillie remains unavailable due to a Hamstring injury.

Ulster releases will include Clive Ross, Marcus Rea and Azur Allison with the release of John Andrew’s, Bruce Houston and Robert Balacoune to be confirmed on Thursday night.

Ballymena team will be from 1. Josh Bill /Nacho Clandero Crespo, 2. John Andrews/ Jonny Spence, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. Connor Smyth/JJ McKee. 6. Clive Ross, 7. Marcus Rea (Capt), 8. Stephen Mulholland/ Azur Allison, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Timothy Small/Bruce Houson, 11. Johnny McMullan, 12/13. Alan Smyth/Matthew Norris/ Darrell Montgomery and Bruce Houston, 14. Jordan Foster/Robert Balacoune, 15. Rodger McBurney. Bench replacements to be finalised on Thursday night after 1st xv confirmed. Both James Wheeler and Eoin Ritson were on the bench last Saturday.

Andy Graham and his players are under no illusions about the task they face against a very good Ballynahinch team this week. They are one of the form teams in Ulster as their league positions demonstrates. He will be looking his players to fight, chase and play at the top of their game to get a win on Saturday. Because of their league position there is an edge to their game knowing that they have their backs to the wall in the league. He believes this situation gets the best out of his players as they demonstrated in the second half of last season. This week is all about the players focusing on the Ballynahinch game. Ballymena are a club in transition and are building for the future. They know where they want to be in 2/3 years time.

Ballynahinch: Ulster releases – Peter Nelson, Tommy O’Hagan, Zac McCall and Iwan Hughes with Tom O’Toole to be confirmed on Thursday night.

Ballymena have won 2 and lost 5 in the league
Ballynahinch have won 4, Drawn 1 and lost 2 in the league

City of Armagh v Naas
The County Kildare side slipped to a surprising 23 – 8 loss at home to St Mary’s College last week after losing their previous game at Malone. Their form against the Ulster teams had brought them wins at home over Ballymena and Ballynahinch and a win at Banbridge. On the road again this week they will be looking to avoid a third defeat in a row against an Armagh side looking to bounce back from their 24 – 17 defeat at Buccaneers.

Hooker Andrew Smyth has scored four tries in his last six appearances for City of Armagh this season.
Saturday was a set back for Armagh at Buccaneers with the players showing real character to come back and leave Dubarry Park with a vital losing bonus point. From Chris Parker the squad have a few bumps and bruises with a few players facing late fitness tests including centre Jonny Pollock on Thursday night. One piece of good news for the coaches is that number 8 Neil Faloon came through 50 minutes of rugby with the second xv on Sat and will come into contention for this weekend. The coaches are aware of the workload the team have over the next 10 weeks with games in the All Ireland League, Ulster Premiership, First Trust Senior Cup and the All Ireland Bateman Cup. Busy programme for the players. The key in training has been keeping the players fresh with the focus on short and sharp sessions. Rather than contact it has been about upskilling the players during this busy period with the players having their conditioning programme they work to each week. When the team had a two week break it was an opportunity for the coaches to do a lot of fitness work with them. For the coaches the key in analysing their opponents is getting across two/three messages that will help the players. It is also crucial to get the mental side right with small things motivating the players. The problem in the defeat at St Mary’s College the mindset of the players was not right taking the pitch.
Both the coaches and the players are looking forward to the Naas game with both teams suffering defeats at the weekend as they look to win this Round 8 match. The coaches are looking a similar performance from the players that saw them defeat Old Belvedere at the Palace Grounds. It will be a big ask at home in front of their supporters. The key for the team is to focus on themselves this week in training in preparation for the Naas match.

City of Armagh have won 3, Drawn 1 and lost 3 in league

Malone v Old Wesley.
Old Wesley have a good record against Ulster teams defeating City of Armagh, Banbridge and Ballymena until they met Ballynahinch last Saturday at Donnybrook. Despite leading 13 – 12 at halftime Ballynahinch came back to win 27 – 16. Malone came unstuck at Rifle Park against a Banbridge side who maintained their nine match unbeaten run against the East Belfast side that goes back to September 2015.

Malone Head coach Paddy Armstrong was disappointed his team did not pick up a losing bonus point in their 21 – 11 defeat at Banbridge. Banbridge took their chances better and that was the difference between the two teams. He is still waiting to hear confirmation on their Ulster releases this week for the Old Wesley match. Ben McCaughey fresh from his exploits with the Ulster under 19 side against Australian Schools will come back into the team.
Old Wesley have shown in their results they are a formidable side with his players expecting another tough challenge in our last home game before the Xmas break.

Ulster releases: Adam McBurney, Graham Curtis and Stewart Moore with Ross Kane to be confirmed on Thursday night.
Malone have won 5 and lost 2 in league

St Mary’s College v Banbridge
The Banbridge side bounced back from their loss at Ballynahinch to defeat league leaders Malone 21 – 11. The Dublin side remain undefeated at home in three games including wins over Ballynahinch and City of Armagh. They recorded their first away win at Naas to move up to 5th place on the back off back to back wins. Difficult trip for Banbridge this weekend. The ever reliable number 8 Stephen Irvine has scored 3 tries in his last four matches with centre Andrew Morrison scoring tries in his last two games.

Banbridge Ulster releases: Caleb Montgomery and Greg Jones, with Rob Lyttle, Alex Thomspon, Jonny Stewart and James Hume to be confirmed on Thursday night.

Banbridge have won 4 and lost 3 in league

Blackrock College (9) v Old Crescent (6)
Navan RFC (3) v Galwegians (10)
Nenagh Ormond (8) v Highfield (1)
Queens University (4) v Cashel RFC (2)
UL Bohemians (5) v Dolphin (7)

Queens University v Cashel
Difficult fixture for Students coaches Serek Suffern and DJ Creighton. Cashel RFC have only lost one game so far this season. That was a 17 – 10 home defeat to league leaders Highfield on the 13 .10 .18. Queens went down to their fourth defeat of the season losing narrowly at Navan 24 – 17. Three away defeats have seriously damaged their promotion ambitions. Nothing less than a win over Cashel RFC is required to keep them in 4th place and the playoff position.

Ulster releases: Angus Kernohan.

Queens University have won 4 and lost 3 in league

Belfast Harlequins (8) v Skerries (10)
Dungannon (9) v Greystones (1)
Galway Corinthians (5) v Sligo (7)
MU Barnhall (2) v Wanderers (3)
Sunday’s Well (6) v Rainey OB (4)

Belfast Harlequins v Skerries
Two teams separated by three points with Skerries still searching for their first league win. Both Quins wins have come on the road with Head coach Nicky Wells and his players looking for that elusive first win at Deramore Park. The team showed the potential within the playing squad before going down narrowly to Rainey last Saturday. Stand out performers were back row forwards Ben Alexander and Jaz Andress. The team will need a big performance from these two players if they are to win this crucial match on Saturday. Prop Tom Fraser also made a big impact off the bench to steady the scrum during the game.

Belfast Harlequins have won 2 and lost 5 in the league.

Dungannon v Greystones
Unbeaten league leaders – Greystones will be clear favourites to extend their run when they travel to Stevenson Park this week. Can Head coach Andy Hughes lift his Dungannon players to end their four match losing run. The coach is confident he has the players to turn around their season. He is looking the players to replicate the 50/60 mins performance that had them leading against MU Barnhall at Stevenson Park only for the teams errors and mistakes to allow Barnhall back into the game to win 22 – 15.

What frustrated Andy Hughes at Wanderers last Saturday was the team again created more openings than their opponents. In the first half five scoring opportunities were missed with players having the ball stripped from them on two occasions when they were over the try line. He can’t fault the work rate of the players - it is their inability to be more clinical with the ball that is letting them down. The focus in training is cutting out the silly errors and individual mistakes that the players have to eradicate in their play. Despite only trailing 13 – 3 at halftime against Wanderers early mistakes had the team chasing the game. The worst thing the team can do is to start panicking. They need to take a step back and fix the errors that are hurting them on a Saturday. For 80% of the game at Wanderers the team did a lot of good things. One of the players problems was adapting to the referee who allowed their opponents to hold on to the ball on the ground. This resulted in the players becoming frustrated with the referee yellow carding Dungannon number 8 Jonah Mau’u. These are experiences the players will have to learn from as they didn’t adapt to the referees interpretation of the breakdown. The coach just felt his players were out thought by the opposition who exploited the referees interpretation of the break down.

Andy Hughes believes in his players and is convinced this group of players can win against Greystone. He welcomes back Captain Stephen Todd who missed the game at Wanderers. Full back Andrew McGregor remains a doubt with an ankle injury. Others who returned to training this week include Ross Stewart, Peter Doran and Andrew McPhillips. Former captain James McMahon and hooker Malcolm Allister are targeting Xmas for their return. Selection will be finalised on Thursday night.

Dungannon have won 2 and lost 5 in the league

Sunday’s Well v Rainey OB
Sunday’s Well have lost their last three AIL matches including a heavy 53 – 17 defeat at leaders Greystones last Saturday. This included defeats against top four teams MU Barnhall and Wanderers and a defeat away to 5th place Galway Corinthians. Rainey Head coach John Andrew’s will be looking his team to extend their undefeated run to five matches when they travel to Cork this weekend.

Rainey OB have won 4 and lost 3 in the league

Ballina (1) v Bangor (5)
Malahide (6) v Bruff (2)
Midleton (3) v City of Derry (7)
Omagh (4) v Seapoint (9)
Thomond (10) v Tullamore (8)

Ballina v Bangor
If Bangor have any ambition to be in the promotion mix they will have to inflict a first home defeat on league leaders Ballina this weekend. Having lost their previous two AIL matches they showed the character within the squad to win at Seapoint on Saturday. Omagh lost 23 – 19 at Hefferan Park on the opening day of the season with newly promoted Ballina surprising many with their performances to date in the All Ireland league.

Bangor have won 4 and lost 3 in the league

Midleton v City of Derry
Director of Rugby Paul O’Kane knows any points picked up on the road will be vital as his team battle to keep their place in the All Ireland League. They have lost all three games on the road. The key for his team is winning their home matches. The win over Thomond at the weekend was crucial.

City of Derry have won 3 and lost 4 in the league

Omagh v Seapoint
Discipline is an issue Omagh Head coach Philip Marshall will have to address after his team felt the wrath of referee Barry Maloney at Bruff on Saturday. One red card and four yellows denied his team another win on the road. Seapoint will come looking the points after their home defeat to Bangor. Another must win game for Omagh if they are to maintain their promotion ambitions.

Omagh have won 4 and lost 3 in the league

Ballyclare (1) v Coleraine (10)
Carrickfergus (8) v Instonians (2)
Cooke (5) v CIYMS (9)
Grosvenor (4) v Dromore (3)

Ballyclare v Coleraine
Ballyclare have won 6 and lost 1 in league
Coleraine won 1 and lost 6 in league

Carrickfergus v Instonians
Carrickfergus have won 1, Drawn 2 and lost 4 in the league
Instonians have won 6 and lost 1

Cooke v CIYMS
Cooke have won 4 and lost 2 in league
CIYMS no wins, Drawn 1, and lost 7

Grosvenor v Dromore
Grosvenor have won 5 and lost 2 in league
Dromore have won 7 and lost none.

Enniskillen (11) v Ballynahinch seconds (5)
Portadown (9) v City of Armagh seconds (2)

Clogher Valley (2) v Ballymoney (5)
Larne (8) v Academy (4)
Limavady (3) v Lisburn (9)
UUC (10) v Lurgan (7)

Clogher Valley v Ballymoney
Clogher Valley have won 6 and lost 2 in league
Ballymoney have won 3 and lost 3

Larne v Academy
Larne have won 2 and lost 4 in league
Academy have won 6 and lost 1 in league

Limavady v Lisburn
Limavady have won 6 and lost 1 in league
Lisburn no wins and lost 6 in league

UUC v Lurgan
UUC no wins and lost 7 in league
Lurgan won 2 and lost 6 in league

Ballymena seconds (4) v Randalstown (2)
Bandridge seconds (8) v Ards (9)
Omagh seconds (11) v Malone seconds (7)

Civil Service (7) v Monaghan (2)
Donaghadee (1) v BHSFP (8)
Holywood (3) v PSNI (4)
Letterkenny (10) v Strabane (5)
Newry (9) v Cavan RFC (11)
Ophir (12) v Virginia (6)



Dublin Uni v Lansdowne
Shannon v UCD
Terenure College v Cork Constitution
UCC v Garryowen
Young Munster v Clontarf

Ballynahinch v Malone
Banbridge v City of Armagh
Buccaneers v Ballymena
Naas v Old Belvedere
Old Wesley v St Mary’s College

Cashel RFC v Navan RFC
Old Crescent v UL Bohemians. Played Friday 14.12.18. KO 8PM
Dolphin v Queens University
Galwegians v Nenagh Ormond
Highfield v Blackrock College

Greystones v MU Barnhall
Rainey OB v Dungannon
Skerries v Sunday’s Well
Sligo v Belfast Harlequins
Wanderers v Galway Corinthians

Ashbourne RFC v Clonmel
Enniscorthy RFC v Wicklow RFC

Ards v Randalstown
Ballymoney v Larne
Lisburn v UUC

Academy v Ballymena seconds
Banbridge seconds v Limavady
Lurgan v Omagh seconds
Malone seconds v Clogher Valley

Cavan v Monaghan
Holywood v Letterkenny
Newry v Donaghadee
PSNI v Civil Service
Virginia v Strabane

Updated 08:52 - 6 Dec 2018 by Jim Lyttle

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