Junior Rugby Focus: Melbourne returns as Clonmel face derby clash with Clanwilliam

Table toppers Clonmel host Clanwilliam in a huge Munster Junior League Division 1 derby on Sunday.

Clonmel suffered a rare defeat before Christmas to Richmond in the cup, but hope to have some key players back for the weekend tie, including the talismanic Neville Melbourne.

Clanwilliam are at the other end of the table, however, they are enjoying a rich vein of form in recent weeks, with Niall Leahy leading their charge out of the relegation zone.

Richmond have been one of those hardest hit by postponements but they can leapfrog Bandon and go into second place if they can pull off an away win at an impressive St Senan’s side. The Clare team are an excellent all-round outfit and will pose many problems for the Limerick visitors, especially if Fernando Gallant and Warren Kelly can replicate their recent form.

Richmond hope their big bulky pack can dictate the game, with the experienced Pa Humphries a central figure. They also possess threats out wide with Mike Kelleher catching the eye in recent weeks.

Galbally, who have booked a place in the Junior Clubs Cup final, will be full of confidence at home to Skibbereen. They also look like that can seek a top four finish and will want to maintain their momentum with a home victory.

Newcastle West have had a surprisingly disappointing campaign this season.

They face a Clonakilty side who are equally desperate for win in an effort to push up form the drop zone.

Waterpark host Muskerry in the weekend’s other top flight match. The visitors have started to grow in confidence but the hosts will have this marked as a must-win match.

There are three matches in Division Two ,with one impacting on the promotion race. Presentation can put themselves right back in the mix with a win at Charleville, while the Cork side will seek to gain points to add a further cushion from the relegation battle.

Mallow remain winless and will be desperate to get that elusive victory as they host Castleisland. The Kerry side look to be comfortable in mid-table but won’t be taking it easy.

Newport host Ballincollig and while neither looks to be immediately threatened with the drop, whoever wins will enjoy a lot more certainty about their status.

Given the weather forecasted for the weekend, supporters are advised to check if games are going ahead before travelling.


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