Leaders Clontarf keen to prove title credentials

At the end of an absorbing Ulster Bank League tie in Castle Avenue last November, Clontarf coach Andrew Wood warned of the problems his side would face in a rematch with Young Munster at Clifford Park.

Leaders Clontarf keen to prove title credentials

That day has dawned and the leaders must prove they can repel a daunting challenge as Young Munster seek revenge for that 46-28 win and, in the process, enhance their prospects of claiming the title for the first time in 21 years.

On that first day the home side got a dream start when they scored the first try of the game within 30 seconds and, though they dominated for lengthy periods, got their final try from a breakaway near the end at a time when Young Munster had been pressing strongly for a losing bonus point.

Clontarf were the better side but Wood saw enough of a dogged Young Munster to note: “They’ll be waiting for us in the long grass in the New Year.”

With eight points between the sides this is probably the last opportunity for Young Munster to put the squeeze on the leaders and on second-placed Old Belvedere too.

Belvedere are at home to St Mary’s and while they’ll be tipped to win they won’t take anything for granted against a team battling to avoid relegation problems.

Lansdowne will be intent on securing another victory to keep them in the mix and that could be bad news for Garryowen who look certain to drop down a division.

It’s a big day for Cork Constitution on and off the pitch at Temple Hill as they play UCD after hosting legendary former Irish out half Jackie Kyle at a pre-match luncheon.

Meanwhile, the match of the day in Division 1B pits UL Bohemians against Terenure at Annacotty.

Terenure are runaway leaders with 41 points from an unbeaten nine-match run, while the Limerick side lie 11 points adrift in third place. Today represents a big chance to allow them push for promotion, knowing Corinthians are on 32 points in second and Buccaneers just a couple behind them in fourth.

Division 2A leaders Galwegians and second-placed Queens University can concentrate solely on their respective league campaigns having lost out in the semi finals of the Bateman All-Ireland Cup to UCD and Cork Constitution respectively.

Galwegians were pipped at the post by the Dublin students, but will take heart from that brave display as they head into this afternoon’s match at Crowley Park against UCC. It remains to be seen how Queens, who meet Old Wesley at Dub Lane, will react to the thumping they received at Temple Hill in the other semi-final.

Meanwhile, in Division 2B, leaders Nenagh Ormonde seek to stretch their unbeaten run but it won’t be easy against Navan who are looking to push up the rankings from a mid-table position.

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