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It’s getting tight at the top as Junior Rugby leagues hot up

By Aidan Corr
WITH most of our local teams in the Munster junior leagues enjoying decent starts to the campaign, the fourth series of games this week-end takes on special interest. Newcastle West lead the pack with a joint table top position in division one; Abbeyfeale and Thomond are in mid-table and Richmond are hovering behind in the chasing pack. Galbally are currently third from the bottom. In division two last week-end St Mary’s missed a chance to go third by a whisker, Kinsale scoring a seven pointer in injury time to level the tie.
This Sunday Newcastle West travel to Clonakilty and will be confident of getting the required win that will keep them amongst the leaders. Against Mallow last week-end they put their supporters through the ringer and they were hanging on in the latter stages before winning by just four points. This time they need to improve. NCW are joint top with Kilfeacle and District so every game from now on is of added importance. Mallow are third with 15 points with Thomond next on 14 points.
Clanwilliam have struggled this season and are third from bottom with just three points from their four outings but they ran Richmond close last week-end. They visit Liam McCarthy Park next Sunday but, on form, a Thomond victory looks likely. The royal blues have won their last three games in this league and have been impressive.
Galbally have had two games called off already so they will be hoping for dry weather when they host Skibbereen. There are just two points between these two sides in the table so this is an important fixture. Galbally, wjose game against Crosshaven was called off last week,  showed good form last time out when they won the back fixture against St Senan’s and they will be hoping that home advantage carries them through.
The local derby in Richmond Park should draw a decent crowd. Home side Richmond (on 9 points) take on Abbeyfeale (10 points) and this one is certainly going to be close. Richmond snatched a last minute win last week-end against Clanwilliam while Abbeyfeale suffered a rare home defeat, going down 17-35 to Kilfeacle.
In division two St Mary’s have an important fixture when they welcome Old Christians to Grove Island. Their traditional power in the scrum has been matched this season by an exciting running game and with new signing Jude Marlo Pendjito proving to be a reliable place kicker, they have put themselves into fifth position. Old Christians are joint leaders with 17 points but the meeting of these two is going to be a severe test for the ‘Saints.’
Fixtures, Kick off 2.30pm unless otherwise stated.
Sunday, 10th November:
Munster Junior League Division 1: Bandon v Waterpark, Bandon;
Clonakilty v Newcastle West, The Vale;
Galbally v Skibbereen, Galbally;
Kilfeacle v St. Senan’s, Kilfeacle;
Mallow v Crosshaven, Mallow, 1pm;
Richmond v Abbeyfeale, Richmond Park;
Thomond v Clanwilliam, Liam Fitzgerald Park;
Division 2: Ballincollig v Cobh Pirates, Tanner Park;
Castleisland v Fethard, Castleisland;
Fermoy v Dungarvan, Fermoy;
Kanturk v Kinsale, Kanturk;
Muskerry v Charleville, Ballyanly;
St. Mary’s v Old Christians, Grove Island;
Thurles v Tralee, Thurles;
Division 3: Bantry Bay v Youghal, Bantry;
Chorca Dhuibhne v Waterford City, Ballydavid;
Douglas-Carrigaline v Scariff, Wilton;
Ennis v Dunmanway, Ennis;
Killarney v Mitchelstown, Killarney;

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