Junior Rugby preview: High-flying Bandon bid to continue impressive start against Old Christians

While there is little surprise at Clonmel leading Division One, the team in second place may have raised eyebrows, as newly promoted Bandon have enjoyed a strong start to their campaign. 

Admittedly, their position is partly due to their rivals having games postponed, but there is no doubting that it has been an impressive start for the Cork side.

They possess plenty of young talent that will once again be keen to impress in a local derby against Old Christians. The Mid-Cork side have shown plenty of battling qualities, which were fully demonstrated with a last-minute victory away at Clanwilliam. Christian Mulcahy snatched a last minute try and the team will be full of confidence.

In contrast, after a strong start to their campaign, Old Christians have lost their last four league encounters despite being competitive in every game. It should be a tight game but momentum should carry Bandon through.

Table-toppers Clonmel face a big local derby against Clanwilliam who will be quickly putting the disappointment of last weekend’s defeat behind them. Clonmel aren’t as formidable as at the start of the season but still know how to win and their experience should see them emerge.

Kilfeacle have also been having a strong campaign and will look to keep pace with their local rivals at the top. They have a home game against St Senan’s which they will expect to come out on top in.

Another side that has impressed recently has been Galbally with Eoin Bourke having a big season for them. They host a Skibbereen side that will be eager to pull away from the relegation zone, but a bonus point maybe as much as the West Cork side can get.

Richmond, through no fault of their own are eight points behind Clonmel, mainly due to recent postponements. They will be eager to get their season back up and running as they host bottom side St Mary’s. It should be a fiery city derby between these great rivals.

Two sides with big performances last time out face-up as Muskerry host Waterpark while struggling Clonakilty will aim to make home advantage count against Newcastle West.

Abbeyfeale remain the only unbeaten side in Division Two and they will be expecting to further strengthen their position at the top of the table with a home win over Waterford City.

Kinsale put in the performance of last weekend with a resounding victory over in-form Cobh Pirates. Kinsale will be aiming to follow up that performance with another win in Castleisland but the Kerry side still have promotion hopes and will be a tough opponent.

Second-placed Presentation should prove too strong for a decent Charleville outfit while Cobh Pirates will aim to bounce back from their recent disappointment with maximum points at home to Dungarvan.

Thurles can’t afford any slip ups from here-on if they are to earn a top two finish and should have enough fire-power to overcome Mallow.

At the bottom of the table, the big game is in Clare where Ennis host Tralee. It is a massive game for the home side who only have one point so far and with the Kerry side not in great form either, they may fancy finally getting a win. Newport had a big win recently against Mallow and will look to overcome another Cork outfit as they take on mid-table Ballincollig.

The stand-out game in Division Three sees Youghal host Fermoy. The East Cork side currently top the table but Fermoy will be eager to get a win to boost their own promotion hopes.

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