It could prove a decisive weekend in the Junior Leagues for a couple of Tipperary rugby clubs.
Clonmel are set to claim the league title should they overcome the challenge of Cobh Pirates in a repeat of the Clubs Challenge Cup final, while a similar result for Clanwilliam will guarantee them promotion back to the top flight.
This will be the first of two chances Clonmel have to claim the title. They will be eager to ensure it is secured as quickly as possible to enable them switch their focus to the round robin and the defence of their Junior Cup.
A big crowd should be out in the South Tipperary venue in anticipation of an expected victory over the Pirates.
The East Cork side will be eager to spoil the party and will also be keen to pick up a result as they are struggling against relegation. They put up a strong showing in the Cup Final but Clonmel’s power and skill proved too much.
There are two other rescheduled games taking place in Division One. Galbally host Waterpark while Old Christians make the trip to Skibbereen. Both home teams look reasonably comfortable in mid-table while one more result should see the away teams secure safety. They should be competitive matches but form favours the home teams.
After a great victory over Bandon, Clanwilliam will be expecting to guarantee promotion as they host Presentation. The Tipperary Town team will also be keen to maintain their unbeaten record and also keep the pressure on Bandon in the battle for the League.
Mallow and Thurles meet at the North Cork venue in what is likely to be a play-off for third spot. Both teams have had strong campaigns and a win could potentially keep one of their promotion hopes alive should Clanwilliam slip up. The likelihood is that won’t be the case but they will each be keen to finish the campaign strongly. The other game is a mid-table clash as Waterford City host Abbeyfeale.
There are also several games taking place in the various knock-out competitions, with four Cup games down for decision. The stand-out game is in Dooradoyle as Garryowen host Kilfeacle. The Light Blues always look to have a strong run in this competition but will be given a stern test of their Cup credentials against a Tipperary outfit that can match any junior club on their day.
Two of the other games pit junior clubs against senior. Kanturk’s second team have had a decent season since moving up a grade and the player depth in the club has certainly contributed to their success.
They face a very tough game despite hosting St Senan’s, with the Clare side looking like they could go far in this competition.
Cashel host St Mary’s, where the Limerick side will be eager to salvage something from a relatively disappointing season. The other Cup match sees Kinsale host Clonakilty.
In the Plate, Cork Con’ should overcome Youghal tonight at Temple Hill while Charleville will seek to cause an upset against Muskerry on Sunday.
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