ALL IRELAND LEAGUE REVIEW
Six points separate the top seven teams with Malone making it 3/3 in 2019 to lead the Division by three points from Old Wesley when they came back from a 11- 10 deficit at halftime - to defeat second place Banbridge 22 - 15 at Gibson Park in a highly entertaining game - played in front of several hundred spectators. Once again the boot of Malone winger Rory Campbell played a key role in converting four penalties with both teams sharing four tries. The loss saw Banbridge slip down to 4th place. City of Armagh moved up into 3rd place after a late win over 9th place Buccaneers at the Palace Grounds. The home side had built up a commanding 25 - 10 at halftime only for the visitors to claw their way back into the game to lead 27 - 25 with the match on the blow. One final effort from the home pack saw number 8 Neil Faloon steal the points off the Connacht side with a try converted by Cormac Fox to secure a 32 - 27 win. It was another notable win for City of Armagh against a team containing six Connacht players. Ballynahinch failed to take advantage of the wind in the second half at Ballymacarn Park to lose 19 - 17 against Dublin side Old Wesley. The home team had reversed a 11- 10 deficit to lead 17 - 16 with minutes to go when the doggedness of the visitors rewarded them with a penalty to win the match. It was not a good day for Ballymena Head coach Andy Graham and his players as they conceded eight tries in a heavy 52 - 7 defeat at Anglesea Road against Old Belvedere. The defeat has the Eaton Park team placed in 10th place five points behind 9th place Buccaneers.
Queens University reproduced their early season form to defeat 3rd place Navan RFC at the Dub 26 - 7 to trail 4th place UL Bohemians by five points with the two teams due to meet at the Dub this weekend. Captain David Whitten was amongst the try scorers in their bonus point win. He will be hoping his players repeat their performance to push for a playoff place.
Rainey OB were 19 - 10 winners at Belfast Harlequins to consolidate their 3rd place - seven points ahead of 4th place Sligo. Head coach John Andrew's will be disappointed his players did not pick up the bonus point after leading 19 - 0 at halftime. For Belfast Harlequins they are still searching for their first league win at Deramore Park this season. The Malone Road based club are in 9th place one point ahead of 10th place Sunday's Well. Head coach Nicky Wells and his players have much work to do if they are to avoid the playoffs again this season. Dungannon showed a lot of character at Stevenson Park to come back from trailing 10 - 8 at halftime to defeat Wanderers 25 - 10 with centre Mervyn Brown scoring two tries. With five points separating the bottom four teams Dungannon are in 8th place hoping to make home advantage count in this block of four games with three of them at home.
Omagh were another Ulster team who had to come back from trailing 14 - 10 at halftime to defeat Limerick visitors Bruff 27 - 26 at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields with Scott Elliott scoring a late try to win the game for the home side. The win keeps Omagh in 3rd place ten points behind leaders Ballina. North Down side Bangor are once again staring another tense season in the bottom half as they lost 13 - 0 at home to Eric Miller's Seapoint at Upritchard Park. New Head coach Michael Ferguson has much work to do to reverse a five match losing run in the AIL. Eight points now separate the bottom five teams with six matches remaining. Bangor will be looking over their shoulders at 7th place City of Derry who have narrowed the gap on their Ulster rivals to three points. The North West team have made it back to back wins as they travelled to Limerick at the weekend to defeat Thomond 16 - 13 in a game packed with late drama. Once again the unheralded out half Alex McDonnell has been their stand out player in turning defeats into wins. His break put centre David Lapsley in for a crucial try with the out half contributing eleven points from his boot to secure victory. This would be a remarkable achievement for City of Derry Director of Rugby Paul O'Kane and his coaching staff if they can keep this proud club in the AIL this season.
Just looking at the results in Round 6 and the reverse fixtures in Round 12 - 15 of the results have been turned around from Round 6.
Cork Constitution, Garryowen and Lansdowne completed the double over their opponents.
St Mary's College were the only team to complete the double over Naas. It is probably a reflection of how little there is to choose between the 10 teams in this league.
Highfield and Old Crescent completed the double over their opponents.
The top three teams MU Barnhall, Greystones and Rainey OB completed the double over their opponents.
City of Derry were the only team to complete the double over their opponents Thomond in this Division. In the last three Rounds of the AIL in this Division we are seeing the teams in the bottom half of the Division pulling off surprise results. Such is the competition to avoid finishing in 9th and 10th place.
Having five Ulster teams in Division 1B has added considerable interest to the AIL in the province this season. Teams are not having to do as much travelling with increasing numbers of Ulster derbies taking place. The large crowds in attendance at these matches do tell us that playing neighbouring opponents will attract the supporters. When you are hearing of 150 + people attending pre match lunches. These Ulster derbies are must in the Ulster calendar. Having attended the Malone v Banbridge game last Saturday you could see that a fixture of this quality was able to do in attracting large numbers of people to both the pre match lunch and the match itself between two talented playing sides.
My recent preview on the way forward for the All Ireland League and Provincial leagues generated a lot of debate in clubs. The feedback I received was very positive.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Have we witnessed the first indications in Round 15 of who will contest the league title after Dromore surprisingly lost 37 - 34 at Belmont to a much improved CIYMS team. Bonus point wins for leaders Instonians and 2nd place Ballyclare who have a game in hand will see the league possibly decided after Ballyclare and Instonians meet at the Cloughan on Saturday 2nd March 2019. Instonians went 17 - 0 up in the first 14 minutes at home to Grosvenor with their impressive centre pairing of David Scott and Matthew Kilpatrick doing the damage with Kilpatrick scoring the opening two tries. Grosvenor did rally to narrow the score line to 17 - 13 with Instonians closing out the match with two further tries to win 30 -20. Despite going behind to an early try at Carrickfergus - Ballyclare quickly rallied to score six tries and win 42. 7. The game of the day had to be at Belmont. Dromore outscored CIYMS 6 tries to 4 - yet ended up losing 37 - 34. Despite leading 22 - 14 at halftime having secured the bonus point CIYMS rallied to win the match. It was their centre Matthew Kilgore the former City of Derry 1st xv player who was the hero for the home side. He scored 32 of his teams points from 3 x tries, 4 x cons and 3 x pens. An outstanding defensive effort from CIYMS in the final five minutes denied Dromore a winning try. Without their regular goal kicker Lee Steenson who was injured in the Junior Cup Final win over Ballynahinch seconds - Dromore have struggled to convert their kicking opportunities during games. Saturday was another example to teams of having players in your team who can kick a rugby ball and can convert conversions and penalties into points. There is no change to the top four which has been the case since the early rounds that includes Instonians, Ballyclare, Dromore and Grosvenor.
In the bottom half of the table it looks like Coleraine will be favourites to drop down to Div 2 next season. They are 10 points behind 9th place Enniskillen with three games remaining. Coleraine lost their league match with 6th place Portadown at home 31 - 10 with Portadown fullback Jack Orr scoring two tries. Enniskillen picked up a bonus point in their 27 - 8 win at home to Cooke with back row forward Jack Rutledge amongst the try scorers. Looking at the league table the battle to avoid finishing in 9th place could come down to teams having to finish with 30 + points. Who out of Cooke, Portadown, Carrickfergus, CIYMS and Enniskillen will finish in 9th place.
Div 1 has been a fascinating league this season with teams challenging for top four places and the league title with the contest in the bottom half equally interesting.
We talk about the drama in Div 1 there is a contest ongoing between Academy, Limavady, Clogher Valley and Randalstown with the four teams challenging for the league title in Div 2 with the second placed team entering the playoff with the 9th place team in Div 1 for a place in Div 1 next season. Leaders Academy remained two points ahead of Limavady after defeating Ards 31 - 9 at Roughfort with Captain Richard Henderson scoring two tries. Limavady ran in 13 tries as they turned over the students from UUC 79 - 7 with number 8 Daniel Irvine scoring 4 tries. Clogher Valley remain level on points with Limavady after sweeping aside 9th place Lisburn 50 - 0 at the Cran as they look to bounce back to Div 1 after being relegated last season. Two points separate the top three - Academy, Limavady and Clogher Valley with Limavady having a game in hand. Randalstown in 4th place are 11 points behind Clogher with two games in hand. They were made to work hard for their 24 - 14 win over 5th place Ballymoney at Nelisbrook after trailing 14 - 8 at halftime. Promising Randalstown winger Eoin Letters added to his growing reputation scoring two tries as Randalstown failed to score a 4th try and pick up the bonus point. Ballymoney, Ards and Lurgan all remain mid table. Lurgan have impressed since being promoted from Div 3 last season and scored 6 tries in their 43 - 20 win over Larne with centre Ben McIIwaine contributing 23 points from 2 x tries, 5 x cons and 1 x pen.
Larne appear to be safe in 8th place seven points ahead of 9th place Lisburn. Games involving Larne against Lisburn and UUC could decide who finishes in 9th and 10th place.
Donaghadee remain in pole position 17 points ahead of 2nd place Monaghan with five games remaining. The North Down team have progressed to the semi finals of the Gordon West Cup after defeating Newry 26 -12 on Saturday.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF DATES
Div 1 (9th place) v Div 2 (2nd place). Played on 6th April 2019
Div 2 (9th place) v Div 3 (2nd place). Played on the 20th April 2019
UPDATE ON PROVINCIAL LEAGUES
Enniscorthy have won Junior 1A. They have a 14 point advantage over 2nd place Gorey with two league games remaining.
Clonmel lead Newcastle West by four points with Bandon in 3rd place with one match left to play in Junior 1. Who wins league could come down to the meeting of Clonmel and Bandon on the 2nd March if Bandon win their game in hand.
Connemara lead Creggs by four points with two league games remaining.
The Round Robin matches involving the four Provincial league winners commence on the 30th March with Div 1 of the Kukri Ulster Rugby Championship due to be completed on the 23rd March. The winners will replace the 10th place team in Div 2C with the 9th place team in Div 2C playing the runner up in the Round Robin for a place in Div 2C.
NUTY KRUST QUARTER FINALS
Banbridge Under 18s 14 Malone Under 18s 8
The second of the quarter finals will be played between City of Armagh Under 18s and City of Derry Under 18s at Chambers Park on Wednesday the 27th February with a 7.45 PM Kick off.
WEEKEND RESULTS/TEAM LISTS
ALL IRELAND LEAGUE ROUND 12
Cork Constitution 34 Clontarf 24
Dublin University 31 UCC 29
Garryowen 32 Terenure College 31
Lansdowne 43 Shannon 15
UCD 33 Young Munster 31
St Mary's College 18 Naas 11
Ballynahinch 17 Old Wesley 19
Ballynahinch team : 1. Jonny Blair, 2. Zac McCall, 3. Conor Piper, 4. John Donnan, 5. James Simpson, 6. Jack Regan, 7. Keith Dickson, 8. Conall Boomer. 9. Rhys O'Donnell, 10. Jonny McPhillips, 11. Aaron Cairns (Capt), 12. Rory Butler, 13. Robin Harte, 14. Ross Adair, 15. Paddy Wright, 16. Clayton Milligan, 17. Ben Cullen, 18. Bradley Luney, 19. Ryan Wilson, 20. George Pringle.
Points scorers: Rory Butler, Aaron Cairns 1 x try each, Jonny McPhillips 2 x cons and 1 x pen
City of Armagh 32 Buccaneers 27
City of Armagh team: 1. Oisin Kiernan, 2. Andrew Smyth, 3. Paul Mullen, 4. Peter Starrett, 5. Josh McKinley, 6. James Hanna, 7. Nigel Simpson, 8. Neil Faloon, 9. Harry Doyle, 10. Cormac Fox, 11. Shea O'Brien, 12. Chris Cousens, 13. Chris Colvin (capt), 14. Andrew Willis, 15. Tim McNeice, 16. Philip Fletcher, 17. Jonny Morton, 18. James Morton, 19. Gerard Treanor, 20. Evin Crummie.
Points scorers: Neil Faloon, Shea O'Brien, Nigel Simpson 1 x try each, 1 x penalty try + con, Cormac Fox 2 x pens and 2 x cons.
Malone 22 Banbridge 15
Malone team: 1. Peter Cooper, 2. Adam McBurney, 3. Ross Kane, 4. Josh Davidson, 5. Ryan Clarke, 6. Dave Cave, 7. Ross Todd (Capt), 8. Joe Dunleavy, 9. Graham Curtis, 10. Callum Smith, 11. Andy Bryans, 12. Nathan Brown, 13. Josh Pentland, 14. Rory Campbell, 15. Jack Owens, 16. Dan Kerr, 17. Ricky Greenwood, 18. James McAllister, 19. Shane Kelly, 20. David McMaster.
Points scorers: Nathan Brown, Peter Cooper 1 x try each, Rory Campbell 4 x pens.
Banbridge team: 1. Michael Cromie (Capt), 2. Peter Cromie. 3. Stuart Cromie, 4. Alex Thompson, 5. Caleb Montgomery, 6. Greg Jones, 7. David McCann, 8. Stephen Irvine, 9. Jonny Stewart, 10. Josh Cromie, 11. Hugo Harbinson, 12. Jonny Little, 13. Andrew Morrison, 14. Conor Field, 15. Adam Doherty, 16. Corrie Barrett, 17. Callum Reid, 18. Chris Allen, 19. Ethan Harbinson, 20. Ian Porter.
Points scorers: Caleb Montgomery, Peter Cromie 1 x try each, Adam Doherty 1 x con and 1 x pen.
Old Belvedere 52 Ballymena 7
Ballymena team: 1. Josh Bill, 2. Jonny Spence, 3. James Taggart, 4. Jonny Browne, 5. Mark Foster, 6. JJ McKee, 7. Dominic Gallagher, 8. Marcus Rea (Capt), 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Bruce Houston, 11. Darrell Montgomery, 12. Glenn Baillie, 13. Matthew Norris, 14. Jonny McMullan, 15. Tim Small, 16. Houston Bonnar, 17. Andrew Ferguson, 18. Connor White, 19. Paddy James, 20. Dean Reynolds.
Points s corers: Tim Small 1 x try and 1 x con.
Nenagh Ormond 7 Old Crescent 9
UL Bohemians 36 Cashel RFC 20
Blackrock College 18 Dolphin 13
Galwegians 0 Highfield 66
Queens University 26 Navan RFC 7
Queens University team: 1. Brian Cunningham, 2. Alexander Clarke, 3. Andrew Weir, 4. David Whitten (Capt), 5. Ali Burke, 6. Andrew McGrath, 7. David Swann, 8. James Catterson, 9. Matthew Keane, 10. Richie McMaster, 11. Jonny Hunter, 12. Connor McKee, 13. Rory Bell, 14. Mark Keane, 15. Michael Orr, 16. Matthew Millar, 17. James Longwell, 18. Curtis Pollock, 19. Jonny Milliken, 20. Fal El Valve.
Points scorers: Mark Keane, Michael Orr, David Whitten, Rory Bell 1 x try each, Richie McMaster 3 x cons.
MU Barnhall 41 Galway Corinthians 10
Sligo 27 Skerries 27
Sunday's Well 15 Greystones 23
Belfast Harlequins 10 Rainey OB 19
Belfast Harlequins team: 1. Toby Mannus, 2. Saul Herdman, 3. James Harrison, 4. Danny Annett (Capt), 5. Callum Leckey, 6. Jaz Andress, 7. Jona Siri, 8. Ben Alexander, 9. Connor Young, 10. Mark Kettyle, 11. Richie McKee, 12. Paul Kerr, 13. Mark Gribben, 14. James McConnell, 15. Mark Glover, 16. Rory Winters, 17. Mark McGrath, 18. Troy Webber, 19. Peter Dunlop, 20. Jordan Hylton.
Points scorers: Mark Glover 1 x try, Paul Kerr 1 x con and 1 x pen.
Rainey OB team: 1. Aidan McSwiggan, 2. Brad Roberts, 3. Kieran Donaghy, 4. John McCusker, 5. Mattie Millar, 6. Andrew Harbinson, 7. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 8. George Fritz, 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Conor Fitzsimons, 12. Damien McMurray, 13. Oisin Quinn, 14. Andrew Donaghy, 15. Scott McLean, 16. Jack McIntosh, 17. Fintan Quinn, 18. Bicker, 19. Eunan Shaw, 20. Mark Mulholland.
Points scorers: Andrew Magrath 2 x tries, Oisin Quinn 1 x try, Scott McLean 2 x cons.
Dungannon 25 Wanderers 10
Dungannon team: 1. Ross Stewart, 2. Malcolm Allister, 3. James Gamble, 4. Guilhem Lopez, 5. Alex Gormley, 6. David Leyburn, 7. Mark Riddell (Capt), 8. James McMahon, 9. John Russell, 10. John Buckley 11. Caolan Mulgrew, 12. Lucca Avelli, 13. Mervyn Brown, 14. Matthew Montgomery, 15. Andrew McGregor, 16. Daniel Maxwell, 17. Glenn Sinnamon, 18. Sean O'Hagan, 19. Stephen Todd, 20. Conor Milnes.
Points scorers: Mervyn Brown 2 x tries, Matthew Montgomery 1 x try, Lucca Avelli 2 x cons and 2 x pens.
Malahide 13 Tullamore 12
Midleton 17 Ballina 10
Bangor 0 Seapoint 13
Bangor team: 1. Philip Whyte, 2.Andrew Shaw, 3. James Leary, 4. Lewis Stevenson, 5. David Caughey, 6. Craig Burton, 7. Jamie Clegg, 8.David Bradfors (Capt), 9. Liam Preston, 10. Gareth Millar, 11. Mark Widdowson, 12. Desi Fusco, 13. Adam Alexander, 14. Nathan Graham, 15. Phil Broderick, 16. Andrew Jackson, 17. Charlie Clegg, 18. Michael Ferguson, 19. Mikey Weir, 20. Ally Lockhart.
Omagh 27 Bruff 26
Omagh team: 1. Richard Hemphill, 2. Phil Ewing, 3. Peter Todd, 4. James Sproule, 5. Kaine Holden, 6. Mervyn Edgar, 7. Adam Longwell, 8. Matthew Clyde, 9. Stewart McCain, 10. Scott Elliott, 11. Matthew Eccles, 12. Luke Hanson, 13. Scott Barr, 14. Ryan Mitchell, 15. Ali Beckett, 16. Kyle Alexander. 17. Richard Smyth, 18. Richard Harper, 19. Stuart Ballantine, 20. Neil Brown.
Points scorers: Ryan Mitchell, Luke Hanson, Ali Beckett, Stewart McCain 1 x try each, Scott Elliott 1 x try and 1 x con
Thomond 13 City of Derry 16
City of Derry team: 1. Ross Harkin, 2. David Ferguson, 3. James Hamilton, 4. Adam Bratton, 5. Gerard Doherty, 6. Conor McMenamin, 7. Chris Lamberton, 8. Stephen Corr (Capt), 9. Rory McGinty, 10. Alex McDonnell, 11. Ian Bratton, 12. Thomas Cole, 13. David Lapsley, 14. Colm Campbell, 15. David Graham, 16. Barry Laverty, 17. Paddy Owens, 18. Tiarnan Thorton, 19. Matthew Orr, 20. Phil Duffy.
Points scorers: David Lapsley 1 x try, Alex McDonnell 3 x pens and 1 x con.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
CIYMS 37 Dromore 34
CIYMS team: 1. Josh Jordan, 2. Scott McNarry, 3. Tim Acheson, 4. Mark McConkey, 5. Paddy Butler, 6. Scott Dowle, 7. Jason Gilliland, 8. Shane Moffatt, 9. Cameron Stewart, 10. Paddy Beverland, 11. Michael Fry, 12. Matthew Kilgore, 13. Matt Butler, 14. Gareth Peden, 15. Nathan Burns, 16. Michael Lilly, 17. Harry Jenkins.
Points scorers: Cameron Stewart 1 x try, Matthew Kilgore 3 x tries, 4 x cons and 3 x pens (32 x points)
Dromore team: 1. Mark Hylands, 2. Fraser Mulholland, 3. Tom Lyttle, 4. Jonny Maguire, 5. Ross Bingham, 6. Adam MacGregor, 7. Peter Elliott, 8. Ben Heath, 9. TJ Morris, 10. David Lyttle, 11. Andrew Lyttle, 12. Graeme McCandless, 13. Aaron Stewart, 14. Brian McClearn, 15. Adam McDonald, 16. Andrew Black, 17. Matthew McMaster.
Points scorers: Andrew Rutledge 2 x tries, Ben Heath, Adam McDonald, Ross Bingham, Fraser Mulholland 1 x try each. David Lyttle 2 x cons.
Carrickfergus 7 Ballyclare 42
Carrickfergus team: 1. Adam Gibney, 2. Alan Whitley, 3. Paul Greenaway, 4. Chris Rodgers, 5. Curtis Rea, 6. Ryan Gibson, 7. Ross Marsden, 8. Ryan McGonigle, 9. Conor Cambridge, 10. Jonny Sheriff, 11. David Moore, 12. Reece Berry, 13. Fionn McCormick, 14. Brian Alexander, 15. David Carse, 16. Joel Bell, 17. Adam White.
Points scorers: Conor Cambridge 1 x try, Fionn McCormick 1 x con.
Ballyclare team: 1. Dean Jones, 2. Matthew Coulter, 3. Al Boyd, 4. Ryan Tweed, 5. Grant Bartley (Capt), 6. Aaron Playfair, 7. Gary Weatherup, 8. Dave Clarke, 9. Ryan McIIwaine, 10. Niall Lawther, 11. Michael Kirk, 12. Robbie Reid, 13. Joel McBride, 14. Owen Kirk, 15. Gary Clotworthy, 16. Jack Black, 17. Robert Boyd.
Points scorers: Dave Clarke, Aaron Playfair, Joel McBride, Niall Lawther, Gary Weatherup, Michael Kirk 1 x try each, Robbie Reid 6 x cons.
Coleraine 10 Portadown 31
Coleraine team: 1. Cillian Butler, 3. Aidy Nevin, 4. Fergal Wiseman, 5. Chris Breadon, 6. Simon McLean, 7. Bernard Mullan, 8. Josh Christie, 9. Matthew Leighton, 10. Bruce Kirkpatrick, 11. J McCaw, 12. Gavin Piennar, 13. Josh Wiseman, 14. Bradley Dempster, 15. Jonny Crowe, 16. Dijon McCorkell, 17. Martin Senk.
Points scorers: Martin Senk 1 x try, Gavin Piennar 1 x pen and 1 x con.
Portadown team: 1. Mark Henderson, 2. Rab Reid, 3. Matthew Davison, 4. James Wright, 5. Danny Alexander, 6. Gary Hall, 7. Jordan Taylor, 8. Lloyd Gravatt, 9. Brian Forrestal, 10. Brett Flack, 11. Aaron Morton, 12. Mark Adamson, 13. Craig Woods, 14. Josh Matchett, 15. Jack Orr, 16. Aaron Abraham, 17. Jonathan Reid.
Points s corers: Jack Orr 2 x tries, Aaron Morton, Jordan Taylor, Lloyd Gravatt 1 x try each, Mark Adamson 3 x cons.
Enniskillen 27 Cooke 8
Enniskillen team: 1. Gavin Warrington, 2. Ryan Cathcart (Capt), 3. Gareth Beatty, 4. Gavin Parke, 5. David Buchanan, 6. Jack Rutledge, 7. John Arnold, 8. James Carleton, 9. Nick Finlay, 10. Adam Lendrum 11. Jarleth Maguire, 12. Tyler Millar, 13. Mark O'Shea, 14. Matthew Dane, 15. Ashley Finlay, 16. Alan Ferguson, 17. Jamie Kelly.
Points scorers: Gareth Beatty, Jack Rutledge 1 x try each, 1 x penalty try + con, Nick Finlay 1 x try, 2 x cons, 1 x pen.
Cooke team: 1. Jonathan McClune, 2. Curtis Montgomery, 3. Russell Hunter, 4. Josh Harper, 5. Adam Stinson, 6. Luke Tarry, 7. Matthew Elliott, 8. Jason Lyons, 9. Ryan Flavelle, 10. Andrew Hanna, 11. Andrew Pollock, 12. Kyle Mitchell (Capt), 13. Jonathan Backus, 14.Phil Woods, 15. Alex Gourley, 16. Declan McClements, 17. Andrew Nelson.
Points scorers: Andrew Pollock 1 x try, Andrew Hanna 1 x pen.
Instonians 30 Grosvenor 20
Instonians team: 1. Dennis Shuttleworth, 2. Neil Saulters, 3. Conor Gallagher, 4. Sean Shuttleworth, 5. Johnny Monney, 6. Mark Mairs, 7. Cameron Barr, 8. James Martin, 9. Paul Marshall, 10. Richard McCarthy, 11. Donal Moloney, 12. David Scott (Capt), 13. Matthew Kilpatrick, 14. Ross O'Donnell, 15. Colm Cregan, 16. John Andress, 17. David McGovern.
Points scorers: Matthew Kilpatrick 2 x tries, Colm Cregan, Dennis Shuttleworth 1 x try each, Richard McCarthy 2 x pens and 2 x cons.
Grosvenor team: 1. Mark Cartmill, 2. Stuart Smyth, 3. Pearce Jamison, 4. Peter Dawson, 5. Willie Rea, 6. Ben Davies, 7. Matthew Cahoon, 8. Connor McKee, 9. Neil Adams, 10. Peter Davison, 11. Jonny Farquhar, 12. Jos McConkey, 13. Conor Knell, 14. Dean Swift, 15. Adam Skelton, 16. Taylor Pollock, 17. Matthew Fitzsimmons.
Points scorers: Peter Davison 1 x try, Adam Skelton 1 x try, 2 x pens and 2 x cons. (15 x points)
Dromore 14 Carrickfergus 10 Played Tuesday 19th February 2019
Dromore team: 1. Tom Lyttle, 2. Stuart Sloan, 3.Mark Hylands, 4. Matthew McMaster, 5. Ross Bingham, 6. Jonny Maguire, 7. Adam MacGregor, 8. Ben Heath, 9. TJ Morris, 10. David Lyttle, 11. Andrew Gilmore, 12. Andrew Rutledge, 13. Aaron Stewart, 14. Brian McClearn, 15. Adam McDonald, 16. Justy Savage, 17. Rory Pepper.
Points scorers: Aaron Stewart, Adam McDonald 1 x try each, David Lyttle 2 x cons
Carrickfergus team: 1.Joel Bell, 2. Alan Whitley, 3. Paul Greenaway, 4. Chris Rodgers, 5. Ryan Gibson, 6. Ryan McGonigle, 7. Jack Millar, 8. Nathan Greenwood, 9. Conor Cambridge, 10. Adam White, 11. Brian Alexander, 12. Jonny Sheriff, 13. Reece Berry, 14. David Moore, 15. Fionn McCormick, 16. Gareth McKeown, 17. Chris Taylor.
Points scorers: Nathan Greenwood, Ryan McGonigle 1 x try each.
ULSTER RUGBY PREMIERSHIP 2ND XV LEAGUE
Malone seconds 14 Banbridge seconds 22
Malone seconds team: 1. Ben Halliday, 2. Scott Finlay, 3. Seif El Deen, 4. Jonny Davis, 5. Gary Crawford, 6. Tom Dullage, 7. Stuart Doddington, 8. Max Porter (Capt), 9. Callum Jeffrey, 10. Connor Spence, 11. Jack Knox, 12. Andy McConnell, 13. Finn Stoneman, 14. Chris Jordan, 15. Bruce Duff. 16. Matthew Hamilton, 17. Charlie Shannon.
Points scorers: Finn Stoneman, Matthew Hamilton 1 x try each, Connor Spence 2 x cons
Banbridge seconds team: 1. Scott Cromie, 2. Andrew Jackson, 3. Ross Haughey, 4. Alex Megaw, 5. Matthew Laird, 6. Robin Sinton, 7. Dale Carson, 8. Mike Bentley, 9. Fraser Wallace, 10. Aaron Kennedy, 11. Chris Patterson, 12. Ross Cartmill, 13. John Porter, 14. Troy Pinion, 15. Ben Thompson, 16. Robbie Mathers, 17. Robin Thompson.
Points scorers: Robin Sinton, John Porter, Chris Patterson 1 x try each, Aaron Kennedy 1 x pen and 2 x cons.
Ballymena seconds 34 Ballynahinch seconds 17
Ballymena seconds team: 1. Ashton Logan, 2. George Hargy, 3. Scott Agnew, 4. Veikune Ika, 5. Jack Bolger, 6. Ryan Mattison, 7. Reuben Russell, 8. Matthew Dick (Capt), 9. Jack Fleming, 10. Eoin Ritson, 11. Jonny Rossborough, 12. Alan Smyth, 13. James Wheeler, 14. Connor Agnew, 15. Sam Millar, 16. Steven Shaw, 17. Jack Lewis.
Points scorers: Jack Lewis, Jack Fleming, Ryan Mattison, George Hargy 1 x try each, Sam Millar 4 x cons and 2 x pens ( 14 x points)
Ballynahinch seconds team: 1. Scott Connolly, 2. Robert Gilmore, 3. Harry McCormick, 4. Tom Martin, 5. Brian Howard, 6. Graeme McKitterick, 7. Stuart Elwood, 8. Connor Phillips, 9. Lewis Finlay, 10. James McBriar, 11. Jonny McCoubrey, 12. Eamon McAnulty, 13. Hilton Gibbons, 14. Aaron Ferris, 15. Joe Bingham, 16. Sean Sweeney, 17. David Harris.
Points scorers: Aaron Ferris, Hilton Gibbons 1 x try each, 1 x try u/k, Hilton Gibbons 1 x con.
Omagh seconds 0 City of Armagh seconds 40
Omagh seconds team: 1. Nathan Kilfedder, 2. Jordan Brolly, 3. Ethan McKeown, 4. David Cummings, 5. Jake Cunningham, 6. Stuart Lyons, 7. Freddie McDowell, 8. Michael Gibson, 9. Taine Logan, 10. Eoin Murnaghan, 11. Ben Scott, 12. Dean Kane, 13. Stephen MacLaine, 14. Scott Ballantine, 15. Andrew Catterson, 16. Matthew Sproule, 17. Glenn McKinley.
City of Armagh seconds team: 1. John Clarke, 2. Jack Treanor, 3. Peter Lamb, 4. Stephen Morton (Capt), 5. Willie Martin, 6. Josh Kennedy, 7. Gareth McNeice, 8. Ryan Morton, 9. Nathan Rogers, 10. Andrew Magowan, 11. Misi Bogitini, 12. Matthew Steenson, 13. Luke Crozier, 14. Ollie Millar, 15. Kyle Faloon, 16. Patrick Chapman, 17. John Johnston.
Points scorers: Luke Crozier, Andrew Magowan, Willie Martin, Ollie Millar, Ryan Morton 1 x try each, Kyle Faloon 1 x try and 3 x cons, Matthew Steenson 2 x cons.
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Academy 31 Ards 9
Academy team: 1. Chris Nash, 2. Lee Moody, 3. Troy Wilson, 4. Brian Cahill, 5. Jonny Torrens, 6. Jamie Watts, 7. Stewart Martin, 8. Richard Henderson, 9. David Kenny, 10. Jordan Buchanan, 11. Jamie Wilson, 12. Callum Lyle, 13. Mark Wylie, 14. Simon Beattie, 15. Chris Cooper, 16. Adam Martin, 17. Kyle Gregg.
Points scorers: Richard Henderson 2 x tries, Chris Nash, Jonny Torrens 1 x try each, Chris Cooper 1 x try and 4 x cons.
Ards team:1. Tom Arthur Donnan, 2. Paddy Bond, 3. Matty Kane, 4. Ross Torney, 5. Matty Bell, 6. Jonny Harris, 7. Paul Hamilton, 8. Onisi Burekama, 9. Alex Hendrickse, 10. Paul Cox, 11. Adam Faloon, 12.Michael Taylor, 13. Aaron May, 14. Matthew Walker, 15. Adam Coulter, 16. Jonny McCartney, 17. Ryan Thompson.
Points scorers: Paul Cox 3 x pens
Clogher Valley 50 Lisburn 0
Clogher Valley team: 1. Stephen McWilliams, 2. Kyle Cobane, 3. Neil Henderson, 4. Eugene Treanor, 5. Michael Treanor (Capt), 6. Josh Fegan, 7. Aaron Dunwoody, 8. Ryan Wilson, 9. Neil Trotter, 10. Paul Armstrong, 11. Fleming Agnew, 12. Rodney Bennett, 13. Reece Smyton, 14. Josh Coulter, 15. Ewan Haire, 16. Ross Finlay, 17. Mark McKenna.
Points scorers: Fleming Agnew 2 x tries, Ryan Wilson, Michael Treanor, Josh Fegan, Rodney Bennett 1 x try each, Paul Armstrong 1 x try and 2 x cons, Reece Smyton 1 x try and 1 x con, Neil Trotter 2 x cons.
Lisburn team: 1.Jamie Dickson (Capt), 2. Peter Graham, 3. Uate Caquea, 4. Cameron Brough, 5. James Welling, 6. Andy Barron, 7. Adam Jameson, 8. Stuart Evans, 9. Dinis Manso, 10. Richard McGregor, 11. Conor Gasgoine, 12. Ryan Hill, 13. Epi Ratu, 14. Craig Walsh, 15. Andy Neely, 16. Matt Edgar, 17. Kitione Dominiqbau.
Lurgan 43 Larne 20
Lurgan team: 1. Graham Currie, 2. Lee Allen, 3. Josh Lyness, 4. Richard Shilliday, 5. Matthew McConaghy, 6. Lewis Lawson, 7. Sam Longstaff, 8. Dean Wilson (Capt), 9. Chris Jenks, 10. Dylan Gill, 11. Richard Hull, 12. Jack Wilson, 13. Ben McIIwaine, 14. Ryan Mooney, 15. Stephen Nolan, 16. Ryan Emerson, 17. Ben McCallister.
Points s corers: Lewis Lawson 2 x tries, Richard Hull, Lee Allen 1 x try each, Ben McIIwaine 2 x tries, 5 x cons and 1 x pen (23 x points).
Larne team: 1. Jack Hill, 2. Chris Rea, 3. Luke Burford, 4. Matt Crampsey, 5. Dan Campbell, 6. Micah Stevenson, 7. Ryan McAllister, 8. Eddie Hunter, 9. Ryan Garrett, 10. BJ McFaul, 11. Scott Montgomery, 12. Jonny Ogilby, 13. Aaron McBride, 14. Brian Blair, 15. Jacob Swan, 16. March Gilbert, 17. Barry Petticrew.
Points scorers: Ryan Garrett, Ryan McAllister 2 x tries each.
Randalstown 20 Ballymoney 14
Randalstown team: 1. Simon Adams, 2. Scott Stevenson, 3. Gary Hume, 4. Kyle Hetherington, 5. Dean McCroary, 6. Peter Knowles, 7. Ian Hume, 8. David Smith (Capt), 9.Tommy Holland, 10. Martin Connolly, 11. Jack Dempster, 12. Ryan O'Dea, 13. Dan McGlade, 14. Eoin Letters, 15. Michael Smith, 16. Marty O'Neill, 17. Scott McClenaghan.
Points scorers: Eoin Letters 2 x tries, Marty O'Neill 1 x try, Martin Connoly 1 x pen and 1 x con.
Ballymoney team: 1. Adam Smith, 2. Joel Heggarty, 3. John McFetridge, 4. Danny Platt, 5. Russell Blair, 6. Lewis Wray, 7. David McKeeman (Capt), 8. Timmy Woods, 9. Matthew Steele, 10. John Hyndman, 11. Simon McCrea, 12. Kyle McAuley, 13. Martin Irwin, 14. Michael Armstrong, 15. James Cleland, 16. Kenny McAneaney, 17. Jordan Minnis.
Points scorers: Martin Irwin, Adam Smith 1 x try each, Michael Armstrong 2 x cons.
UUC 7 Limavady 79
UUC team: 1. Peter McCully, 2. Michael Smyth, 3. James Blair, 4. Jake Stevenson, 5. Ryan McKay, 6. Neil Stewart, 7. Jack Kilgore, 8. Dan Morgan (Capt), 9. John Allen, 10. David McCluggage, 11. Ryan Jackson, 12. Chris Allen, 13. David Gilkinson, 14. Lewis Henry, 15. Adam Johnston, 16. Linsey McLaughlin, 17. Samuel Hetherington.
Limavady team: John McCollum, 2. Luke Montgomery, 3. Clive Scott, 4. Michael Rice, 5. Ben Riley, 6. Stuart Simpson, 7. Jonny Lees, 8. Daniel Irvine, 9. Peter Wilson, 10. Gavin Martin, 11. Mark Woods, 12. Jody McMurray, 13. Jamie Millar, 14. Stewart Roddy, 15. Matthew Haslett, 16. Perry Semple, 17. Jim McCartney.
Points scorers: Daniel Irvine 4 x tries, Jody McMurray 3 x tries, Jamie Millar 2 x tries, Stuart Simpson, Jonny Lees, Stewart Roddy, Luke Montgomery 1 x try each, Peter Wilson 7 x cons.
GORDON WEST CUP QUARTER FINALS
Strabane 21 Cavan 35
Newry 12 Donaghadee 26
Holywood 36 Letterkenny 24
BHSFP 0 Monaghan 25.
SEMI FINAL DRAW
Donaghadee v Cavan
Monaghan v Holywood
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Civil Service 16 Virginia 17
FIXTURES SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY 2019
ALL IRELAND LEAGUE Round 13
Young Munster (9) v Garryowen (4). Played Friday 22.2.19. KO 8PM
Clontarf (3) v UCC (8)
Cork Constitution (1) v UCD (6)
Shannon (7) v Dublin Univ (5)
Terenure College (10) v Lansdowne (2)
Ballymena (10) v Old Wesley (2)
Banbridge (4) v Ballynahinch (6)
Buccaneers (9) v St Mary's College (7)
Naas (5) v Malone (1)
Old Belvedere (8) v City of Armagh (3)
Ballymena v Old Wesley
Ballymena Head coach Andy Graham: He felt his team had been competitive for the first 60 mins against Old Belvedere. The forwards had stood up well until they started to tire. What let the Ballymena team down was their defensive performance which was described as abysmal by the coach. The team had a lot of possession but kicked it away. Defensively there were to many system errors with the players taking the wrong options. This week in training it has all been about getting better outcomes on the pitch. It is a case of the players needing to be more clinical and smarter when in possession of the ball. Andy Graham believes his side can get a result against Old Wesley this week. It is all about his own team getting their game plan right. Cohesion is a key issue for the team. The focus is on getting a win this week. It is all about the team turning up and getting things right and sticking to their game plan.
Ballymena welcome back props Nacho Clandero Crespo and Chris Cundell to the front row along with second row David Whann. Both Stephen Mulholland and Jordan Foster have work issues to address to make themselves available this week. Rodger McBurney remains unavailable with a calf injury. Conor Smyth took ill last week with Glandular fever that ruled him out of the Old Belvedere game. He is awaiting medical clearance to play this Saturday. Second row Mark Foster picked up a head injury in the Old Belvedere game that will rule him out for several weeks. Winger Johnny McMullan is another major doubt from this game with a groin injury. JJ McKee came off at HT with a knee injury in Dublin. He had been involved in a training game with the Ireland under 20 squad against the Irish squad the day before. He is ruled out of the Old Wesley match.
Ulster releases include Bruce Houston and Marcus Rea with Michael Stronge TBC on Thursday.
The coach will not be able to finalise his matchday 20 until Thursday night.
Ballymena lost the first meeting between the two teams at Donny brook on the 24th November in Round 6.
Banbridge v Ballynahinch
Banbridge Head coach Simon McKinstry: His team played well in the first half at Malone scoring two good tries. They conceded a late try to allow Malone back into the match just before halftime. The second half there was no momentum in the Banbridge play that allowed Malone to force kickable penalties. With so few points separating the teams in this league he is looking his players to bounce back against Ballynahinch in a local derby. There will be changes to the match day 20 with both David McCann and Callum Reid involved with the Ireland under 20 squad on Friday night against Italy. Second row Chris Allen is a doubt with his wife expecting a child this week. Ulster releases are to be confirmed with Caleb Montgomery the only confirmed release with Jonny Stewart and Greg Jones to be confirmed. Former RBAI loose head prop Callum Reid was at Ballynahinch last season and switched to Banbridge with Tom O'Toole moving from Banbridge to Ballynahinch. He impressed off the bench for Banbridge on Sat against Malone. The coach was also pleased to see Ian Porter making his first appearance of the bench this season after injury. Another player who is impressing for Banbridge seconds is scrum half Frazer Wallace. The former Methody player has switched to Banbridge from Belfast Harlequins. Hugo Harbinson is another player who has worked hard in training and has been rewarded with a starting place on the 1st xv. As the coach put it he has put his hand up and taken his chance. He is a player who adds physicality to the teams attacking options on the wing. Former Captain Adam Ervine has returned to training and will come into contention this week. Josh Cromie is another player who provides options for the coaches at 9 and 10. Second row Alex Thompson had to leave the pitch last Saturday with a hip injury and is a doubt for the game this week. With potential changes in the second row and back row the coaches can call on Ethan Harbinson, Mike Bentley and Robin Sinton. Team selection will be finalised on Thursday night.
The coach is looking forward to this local derby with Ballynahinch. The players need no motivation. They have lost twice to Ballynahinch this season in the All Ireland League and the Ulster Premiership League and are looking to reverse these defeats this weekend. Every league game is a bout picking up league points.
Ulster releases: Caleb Montgomery with Greg Jones TBC
Ballynahinch coach Tom Rock: His team played so well against the elements in the first half against Old Wesley at Ballymacarn Park last Saturday. Despite the wind advantage the team lacked the accuracy to close out the match. The game was their to be won. This weekend presents another opportunity for the players. The team need consistency in their performance. This is an area that has been a big area of focus in training. The players put in a huge effort with the team defensively very strong. They just came up short with small margins deciding the match. He is aware of the attacking threat the team pose. The positives were the team were delighted to have James Simpson and Rory Butler returning to the starting line up. Connor Piper continues to perform at tight head along with Jonny Blair in the front row. They were backed up by a big back five behind them. Again the coach was disappointed with the result . The team played a lot of good rugby but perhaps were a bit naive at times. The players know on their day they are up with the best teams in this league. There are no bad teams in this league. The squad are acutely aware a good run of form would have them in contention for the league title. All it takes is a couple of good results. It is all about the players keeping their focus and confidence with the things they do well. There are no injuries from last Saturday. The team is expected to be on similar lines to the Old Wesley with Ulster releases to be confirmed on Thursday. Both Ollie Loughead and Aaron Hall continue their rehab from injury. Richard Reaney missed out on starting last week and will come into contention this week.
The coach is looking forward to the game at Banbridge. They had the edge over Ballynahinch last season with Ballynahinch winning both games in the meetings between the two teams this season. Both teams know each other very well and are well acquainted with each other play. He is expecting a competitive game with the players from both teams looking a win. His team will give it their best shot as they look to get back to winning ways after losing to Old Wesley.
Ulster releases: Zac McCall and Jack Regan with Tom O'Toole TBC. Aaron Hall out with a shoulder injury is TBC, Iwan Hughes - Ireland Sevens
Banbridge lost 13 - 12 at Ballymacarn Park to Ballynahinch on the 24th November in Round 6
Naas v Malone
Malone Head coach Paddy Armstrong: He felt it was a very tight game against Banbridge. On the whole his team deserved the win especially after their very pleasing second half performance. Naas will be another tough challenge this weekend with their Head coach Dan Van Zyl and Johnny Murphy having their team well prepared. The Malone coach and his players are expecting Naas to provide a very formidable challenge to them this week. Michael Shiels will come back into contention with the coach awaiting confirmation on Ulster releases along with some injury concerns before finalising his selection on Thursday night.
Ulster releases: Joe Dunleavy with Jack Owens, Adam McBurney, Matty Dalton and Graham Curtis TBC. Matty Agnew and Stewart Moore remain on the injured list.
Malone won the first meeting between the two teams 36 - 20 at Gibson Park on the 24th November in Round 6
Old Belvedere v City of Armagh
City of Armagh Assistant coach Chris Parker: It was the teams resilience and belief in themselves that secured the win over Buccaneers. They make the decisions on the pitch and found a way over to score that late try to win the match. Credit has to go to the players and the team for picking and going down the blind side to get them into position. Winger Andrew Willis picked up a knee injury in the first few minutes of the game and had to be replaced by Evin Crummie. He is expected to be out for three weeks. The coaches are hoping he will be fit for the Malone match. He joins a growing injury list that includes full back Ryan Purvis who fractured a shoulder that will rule him out for 6 weeks. Prop Philip Fletcher was unaware of a fracture in his hand that has been put in cast that will rule him out for several weeks. Ryan O'Neill continues his rehab. Harry Boyd is another couple of weeks away from being fit. Prop Daryl Morton may recover to play for the seconds in the Towns Cup against Dromore. Robert Whitten has a foot injury and will undergo a fitness test this week. Changes to the match day squad will see Evin Crummie start on the wing in place of Andrew Willis with Jonny Pollock replacing Evin Crummie on the bench. Eoin O'Hagan who replaced Philip Fletcher on the bench is unavailable this week. His place will be taken by John Clarke.
Both Oisin Kiernan and Paul Mullen continue to impress in the front row and loose with their support play.
The coach is aware that his City of Armagh team need to perform for 80 mins to get a result away to Old Belvedere this week. It will take a similar performance to the win over Buccaneers for City of Armagh to win this match. Old Belvedere are a very well organised team defensively and possess attacking threats all across the pitch.
City of Armagh won 15 - 9 at the Palace Grounds in their first meeting on the 24th November in Round 6
Cashel RFC (2) v Blackrock College (8)
Dolphin (0) v Nenagh Ormond (9)
Navan RFC (3) v Highfield (1)
Old Crescent (6) v Galwegians (10)
Queens University (5) v UL Bohemians (4)
Queens University v UL Bohemians
Ian McAvoy Queens University: Queens are expected to be along similar lines to the squad that played against Navan last Saturday. The backline is expected to be the same with Mattie Millar the only change in the pack in place of Andrew Weir in the front row.
Queens lost the first meeting between the two teams 36 - 24 on the 10th November in Round 6
Galway Corinthians (5) v Skerries (7)
Greystones (2) v Belfast Harlequins (9)
MU Barnhall (1) v Dungannon (8)
Rainey OB (3) v Sligo (4)
Wanderers (6) v Sunday's Well (10)
Greystones v Belfast Harlequins
Belfast Harlequins 1st xv Manager Neale Wilson : Selection to be finalised on Thursday night.
Belfast Harlequins lost the first match between the two teams at Deramore Park 36 - 0 on the 10th November in Round 6
MU Barnhall v Dungannon
Dungannon Head coach Andrew Hughes: The coach felt his team should have added another 15 points to their 25 - 10 win over Wanderers with centre Lucca Avelli missing several kickable opportunities. He feels this squad has so much more to offer. We have to remain positive and get better at finishing off the opportunities the team are creating. The first half against Wanderers was ugly with the Dungannon players not looking after the ball with too many handling errors. Their score in the first half came from one good phase they put together. The second half was totally dominated by the home side. Despite playing into the wind the team got their patterns going. They were able to get into their flow with really positive rugby. The team have only one injury doubt after winger Caolan Mulgrew rolled his ankle. He will face a fitness test on Thursday night. Centre Andrew Weir pulled out on Saturday morning and will be available this week for selection. Hooker Malcolm Allister is not available and will be replaced Daniel Maxwell with Jamie McNeill covering from the bench. Centre Mark Faloon is not available this week and will be available for the Galway Corinthians game on Saturday week. The coach started with props Ross Stewart and James Gamble against Wanderers with Glenn Sinnamon and Sean O'Hagan on the bench. He has options once again for this week as he looks to go with three forward replacements and two back replacements. Both second rows Peter Doran and Lewis McCrabbe are available this week to again give the coach options with Stephen Todd and Guilhem Lopez their main lineout threats. Winger Andrew McPhillips is another 2 x weeks away from being available. Conor Milnes and Andrew Weir are likely to provide backs cover from the bench. The one plus for the coach is the return of James McMahon at number 8. He is a player who is getting better after being out with a lengthy injury rehab. He adds a physical presence and buys into the teams structures. He is a player who is also highly respected by the other players in the squad.
The coach. MU Barnhall are a very good team. The key to playing the league leaders is to stick with them in the first 20 mins. His team need to turn up defensively switched on from the first whistle to disrupt this Barnhall team. He feels the team are capable of getting something from this match.
Dungannon team: 1. Ross Stewart, 2. Daniel Maxwell, 3. James Gamble, 4. Guilhem Lopez, 5. Alex Gormley, 6. David Leyburn, 7. Mark Riddell (Capt), 8. James McMahon, 9. John Russell, 10. John Buckley, 11. Caolan Mulgrew, 12. Lucca Avelli, 13. Mervyn Brown, 14. Matthew Montgomery, 15. Andrew McGregor, 16. Jamie McNeill, 17. Glenn Sinnamon/Sean O'Hagan, 18. Stephen Todd, 19. Andrew Weir, 20. Conor Milnes.
Dungannon lost the first match 22 - 17 at Stevenson Park between the two teams on the 10th November in Round 6
Rainey OB v Sligo
Rainey OB Head coach John Andrews: It has been a case of the coach having to start again after Xmas due to injuries and unavailability with his 1st xv. Michael McCusker has been ruled out with a knee injury and is awaiting an MRI scan. Timmy Barker has a back injury he picked up in the Quins game before Xmas. Back row Charlie Clarke was cited after the match against Sunday's Well and received a two match ban. He has also picked up a virus that will rule him out for the next couple of weeks. Full back Michael O'Neill has a hamstring injury and is expected to be available again next week. Paddy McGowan is another victim of a virus that will rule him out for three weeks.
The coach was disappointed the team did not pick up the bonus point in the first half against Belfast Harlequins in their 19 - 10 win. Even though his team never added to their scoreline in the second half they never looked in any danger of losing the game. With second rows Timmy Barker and Ronan McCusker unavailable John Andrews brought in Portadown second row Lee Bicker under dual status to provide cover from the bench with the player getting 30 mins of action at Deramore Park. With Lee Bicker unavailable this week the Rainey coach has brought in former Rainey forward Timmy Woods under dual status from Ballymoney - with the player likely to partner John McCusker in the second row against Sligo. Number 8 George Fritz has a slight knock and will start from the bench this week. Damien McMurray is unavailable and will be replaced by Conor Fitzsimons in the centre with Mark Mulholland replacing Fitzsimons on the wing. Jack McIntosh received a head injury at the weekend and will be replaced by Michael Caithness on the bench. Eunan Shaw will replace Lee Bicker on the bench. With Andrew Browne replacing Mark Mulholland on the bench.
Rainey OB team: 1. Aidan McSwiggan, 2. Brad Roberts, 3. Kieran Donaghy, 4. John McCusker, 5. Timmy Woods, 6. Andrew Harbinson,7. Mattie Millar, 8. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Mark Mulholland, 12. Conor Fitzsimons, 13. Oisin Quinn, 14. Andrew Donaghy, 15. Scott McLean, 16. George Fritz, 17. Fintan Quinn, 18. Eunan Shaw, 19. Michael Caithness, 20. Andrew Browne.
Rainey won the first meeting between the two teams 27 - 17 on the 10th November in Round 6
Ballina (1) v Seapoint (10)
Bruff (3) v Bangor (6)
City of Derry (7) v Malhide (5)
Midleton (2) v Thomond (9)
Tullamore (8) v Omagh (4)
Bruff v Bangor
Bangor Head coach Michael Ferguson: The coach acknowledges it is a tough time for the club as the coaches try to get the players confidence back up after a run of close games. There has been good parts to the teams performances but unfortunately the team have not been able to put together an 80 minute performance to manage to get the results we need to turn the momentum around.
This week there will be changes with both Adam Alexander and Alistair Lockhart unavailable with a reshuffle in the backline that will see David Charles stepping up to play on the right wing.
Bruff won the first game at Upritchard Park 15 - 10 on the 10th November in Round 6.
City of Derry v Malahide
City of Derry Director of Rugby Paul O'Kane: Wins over Midleton and away to Thomond at the weekend have City of Derry fighting to keep their place in the AIL league. The focus for the coaches and players is not to worry about the teams below them but to target the teams above them as they now find themselves three points behind fellow Ulster side Bangor in 7th place. A win for City of Derry this weekend and a defeat for Bangor will see the North West side move up into 6th place. Their objective will then to be to target their opponents this weekend Malahide as Paul O'Kane and his side push for a top six finish this season. Malahide have been the only side to blow Derry away in any fixture this season. His players are looking forward to the challenge Malahide will present at the Craig Thompson stadium on Saturday.
Letterkenny under 18 scrum half Rory McGinty has been a revelation since he started playing for City of Derry 1st xv after Xmas. He was very much targeted by Thomond last week and was replaced for the final quarter by Phil Duffy. He has formed an excellent partnership with out half Alex McDonnell. It has been a steep learning curve for Alex McDonnell after playing University rugby in Manchester. The AIL is a harsh learning environment for this 21year old out half. What has impressed Paul O'Kane is the hard working attitude the player has to his game. He is a player who will spend a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon working on his kicking game at the club. He has become a key player for the team with another stand out performance at Thomond last weekend. What has also pleased the coaches is that they have stability in the team at 9,10,12 and 13. The young players in these positions have challenged senior backs such as Simon Logue and David Graham. The team are learning from their mistakes and have become a tightly knit group as they look to turn their season around. There are no big names in the squad with the players developing a great work ethic. With Foyle College knocked out of the Schools Cup their players have been coming down to the club to train. Players such as Keelan Coyle have embraced what City of Derry are all about and how the club have evolved. In the outside backs there is huge competition for starting places on the 1st xv. Colin Campbell who played his part in the win at Thomond has been replaced on the wing by David Graham this week with the player turning out for the seconds this week. Ian Bratton who played his first AIL game on the wing took his opportunity at Thomond retains his place this week. Simon Logue is expected to start at full back with Matthew Orr replacing Alex McDonnell at out half. James Perry and Keelan Coyle are expected to provide backs cover from the bench.
In the forwards back row Chris Lamberton is unavailable this week. He is a player who was playing for the clubs 2nds and 3rds and has made a big impression in the back row this season. Adam Bratton picked up an injury at Thomond and will undergo a late fitness test on Thursday. The options for the coaches if Bratton is ruled out are to bring Conor McMenamin into the 2nd row with Tiarnan Thorton retaining his place in the back row alongside Craig Huey and Captain Stephen Corr. Hooker David Ferguson is another player facing a late fitness test after picking up a knock at the weekend. Both Jack Townley and Ross Harkin are expected to take their place on the bench. 18 year old prop Ben Pollin remains on the injured list with a meniscus tear that will rule him out for 3/4 weeks. Prop Sam Duffy is targeting a return against Bangor. Players including Callum Robinson, Paddy Blennerhasset, Conall Gill and Chris Shields are ruled out for the remainder of the season. Callum O'Hagan, Jack Beattie and Denis Posternik are turning out for the seconds. Work and family commitments have ruled out Cathal Cregan and Steven Duffy.
Paul O'Kane is delighted with the work Richard McCarter and Ian Orr are doing with their backs. He is also delighted with the support he has received from Andy King and Everitt Sherard who look after the seconds and Stephen Lindsay and Chris Cooper who look after the 3rd xv. Both the seconds and thirds have performed very well in their leagues as the club look to develop strength in depth. The club have their under 18 side training with the 3rd xv every Thursday night with the team looking forward to playing in the Nutty Krust tournament. The goal for the club this season is to retain their senior status in the All Ireland league.
City of Derry lost 32 - 12 in their first meeting on the 10th November in Round 6
Tullamore v Omagh
Omagh Head coach Philip Marshall: He was delighted with the effort from his team to win a close game with Bruff at home last week. He felt the players got their mojo back after their surprising defeat at Seapoint. Bruff had also done their homework on Omagh with the coaches this week addressing the areas they had exposed in training. Tough game for Omagh at Tullamore this week with both teams fighting for the win for different reasons. This week Omagh are missing Ali Beckett and Jonny Sproule who are both unavailable with Sproule ruled out until the 16th March. The injury to Stuart Allen is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the season. Jamie Sproule is also a doubt after taking a bang to the knee against Bruff. He will undergo a fitness test on Thursday night. Richard Harpur will be retained on the bench and start in place of Jamie Sproule if he is ruled out. In the backs Stuart Ballantine was ruled out for the Bruff match after picking up a hamstring injury on the previous Thursday night. His place was taken by Peter Scott who got 20 mins against Bruff at out half with Scott Elliott moving to fullback. Peter Scott impressed and will make his first start at out half for Omagh at Tullamore this weekend. Neil Brown will keep his place on the bench with Eoin Murnaghan joining him as backs cover.
The coach: His team are expecting a brutally hard game against Tullamore with the home side needing the win. It is all about Omagh imposing their game on Tullamore as they challenge for a top four finish. Every game is a Cup Final after losing at Seapoint. He is looking to see how the players respond mentally away from home.
Omagh won their first meeting 55 - 17 on the 10th November in Round 6
RIVER ROCK TOWNS CUP QUARTER FINALS
Clogher Valley v Portadown
Enniskillen v Ballymena seconds
City of Armagh seconds v Dromore
Ballyclare v Randalstown
Ballyclare v Randalstown
Ballyclare Head coach Mike McKeever: He makes one change to his match day 17 with Gary Clotworthy being rested. He will be replaced by Willie Stewart who is returning from injury with selection to be finalised on Thursday night. The coach has been pleased with how the 2nd xv are performing this season under coaches Kris James and Jordan McKinstry. The Head coach would be tempted to see young backs Sam Caldwell, Ross Patterson and Callum Wilson get some game time on the 1st xv. For the present the squad will stay the same after several strong performances. He is expecting the pack to stay the same with maybe changes to the bench that will be decide on Thursday night. The club are very excited about staging a home Cup match. Manager Stephen Crawford has been pulling out all the stops to being a good host and has the chip van ready for the supporters for the Six Nations match between Wales and England after the Ballyclare v Randalstown match.
Randalstown 1st xv Manager Willie Allen: Head coach Gary Longwell is hoping prop Neil Foster will be available in place of Simon Adams who would drop out of the match day squad. Their only injury doubt is Captain David Millar who is a major doubt with an ankle injury from the league match against Ballymoney. The coaches are also hopeful Jordan Foster will be available after missing the Ballymoney game with a hand injury - otherwise the team is expected to be similar to the one that played against Ballymoney.
Clogher Valley v Portadown
David Sharkey Clogher Valley: Clogher Valley make one change to their starting line up with David Sharkey returning to the back row and Josh Fegan dropping to the bench. Ross Finlay drops out of the match day 17. Stephen McWilliams continues at prop in place of Philip Hopper who will be ruled out for the next four weeks.
Portadown Head coach Stuart Lamb: The coach is delighted to welcome back Craig Woods back for the remainder of the season. He is not expecting any changes from the team that won at Coleraine last Saturday. He is expecting his team to be tested by a Clogher side who are going well in Div 2 this season.
Enniskillen v Ballymena seconds
Enniskillen Head coach Stevie Welsh: After working with Willy Gibson for three years Stevie Welsh took over as Head coach at Enniskillen assisted by Steven Fox this season. It proved a difficult start to their season after losing games to Ballyclare, Dromore and Instonians albeit by small margins. The break in October and November did not help momentum within the playing squad with the coach having to work hard to get players out to training. He had assembled a squad with a balance of experience and young players coming into the senior squad. The players are now more focused on training with the resulting good environment that exists within the club. It has taken several months but the coach is happy where the squad are. The pressure on the players to perform to keep their place in Div 1 has helped them to perform better. The recent Cup games have come at the right time and brought the best out of the players. Enniskillen have a forward pack that are recognised as one of the strongest forward units in the Rugby Championship. The return of players including John Arnold, Ricky Lee and Davy Taylor have added depth to the forwards. John Arnold was a former pupil at Portora with James Carleton and had not played rugby for five years. A phone call from the coach persuaded John to turn out for the 1st xv against Grosvenor. He put in a strong performance and has become a regular in the back row. His no nonsense style of rugby has endeared him to the playing squad - most notably on training nights. The return of Davy Buchanan to the second row after being ruled out due to injury has again added experience to the pack. Former Enniskillen Royal Grammar School back row Jack Rutledge has been another welcome addition to the back row. Another back five forward who continues to develop is Jamie Kelly who had played Gaelic and turned to play rugby. He is only in his second season but is expected to have a big future at the club. The platform for this Enniskillen team is built around the front row of Gavin Warrington, Captain Ryan Cathcart and Gareth Beatty with Ulster Junior prop Alan Ferguson keeping the front row options available to the coaches.
In the backs the experienced Nick Finlay has moved into scrum half to steer this pack of forwards. He has the rapidly developing Adam Lendrum at out half who is showing a maturity for his age. Key in the Enniskillen defensive line is James Ferguson who is forming an exciting partnership with the talented Tyler Millar. Matty Dane who was playing at scrum half has moved to the wing as he continues to develop his game. The experienced Ashley Finlay has returned from injury to provide an attacking threat from full back along with Mark O'Shea and Jarlath Maguire. Conor Hoy is another former Gaelic player who is making an impact and has played several games for the 1st xv. The two Keys brothers Angus and Conor are two players the coaches can call upon to play in the backline.
All three club teams are performing well in the latter half of the season with the seconds going well in the league and the thirds into the last four of the McCambley Cup.
Stevie Welsh and his players are looking forward to their Towns Cup match with Ballymena seconds on Saturday. They are delighted the tie is at home.
Ballymena seconds coach John Nicholl is expecting a few players who played for the 1st xv last week to be available for his team this week.
City of Armagh seconds v Dromore
Gary Morton City of Armagh: The team had a few players missing last week against Omagh so depending on 1st xv requirements and injuries He is hoping to have a couple of players back this week.
Dromore Head coach Jonny Cullen: He has a number of late fitness tests on Thursday night after a very hard and physical game with Carrickfergus on Tuesday night in difficult conditions. At the moment he has little ides of his team that will be finalised on Thursday night.
McCREA CUP QUARTER FINALS
Queens University seconds v Malone seconds
Instonians v Grosvenor
CIYMS v Cooke
Academy v Belfast Harlequins seconds
Academy v Belfast Harlequins seconds
Academy Head coach Gareth Lynn: He is expecting to have a few changes to his starting xv from Saturday's league win over Ards. Several players are carrying knocks.
Queens University seconds v Malone seconds
Instonians v Grosvenor
Instonians Head coach John Andress:
Grosvenor Head coach Robert Ford: The coach is hoping to have Allen McCluggage back this week along with Davy Egner. It is still a week too early for forwards Andrew Kelly and Sam Purdon to return. Prop Mark Rainey is also available with several players facing late fitness tests before selection is finalised on Thursday night.
CIYMS v Cooke
CIYMS Head coach Gareth Fry:
Cooke Head coach Colin Atkinson: His team picked up five injuries against Enniskillen last Saturday with the team having to play a large part of the second half with 13 players. The squad had already lost Jonny Walsh and Ian Moxen to injury during the week prior to the Enniskillen game. This week back row forward Matthew Elliott is added to the injury list. Resources at the club are being fully stretched with frustratingly most of the injuries long term. Colin Atkinson is remaining positive. Every player absent offers an opportunity for other players to gain experience on the 1st xv.
RUGBY PREMIERSHIP 2ND XV LEAGUE
City of Armagh seconds v Ballymena seconds. Postponed.
Omagh seconds (4) v Banbridge seconds (6)
KUKRI ULSTER RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
Virginia (7) v Strabane (8)
Holywood (4) v Monaghan (2)
Enjoy your rugby