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Leaders go in search of Junior League bonus point wins

By Aidan Corr
IT will be ‘fingers crossed’ this week-end that Mother Nature will grant us better weather conditions as another full list of junior rugby are down for decision. All six teams will be in action with much attention on the fortunes of division one front-runners Kilfeacle, Newcastle West, Mallow and Thomond. In the other games of local interest Richmond travel to Clonakilty, Abbeyfeale are also on the road to take on Crosshaven while Galbally will host Bandon. In division two St Mary’s will be trying to rekindle their fortunes when they play Thurles in Grove Island.
With nine games played, Kilfeacle and District head the table with 39 points and they will be fancied to at least retain that advantage when they take on Waterpark. The Willie Staunton inspired Tipperary side are on fire at present after their national cup success and it would be a major surprise if the Waterford visitors were to cause an upset.
Newcastle West will be seeking a bonus point win over visitors St Senan’s. The Jim Slattery Park outfit have been having a poor season and look favourites to make the drop to division two. They have lost all of their games in this league and with a total of just two bonus points they are unlikely to record their first victory on this visit to West Limerick.
Abbeyfeale, in fifth place in the league travel, are 11 points ahead of Sunday’s opponents Crosshaven who are in tenth. This is an interesting pairing and home advantage may be to the benefit of the Cork side at the final whistle. Thomond have been impressive all season and it appears that they just need a little bit of tweaking in some positions to be serious contenders for promotion. They travel to Mallow who have been lurking just behind the two leaders for most of the campaign. This promises to be a close encounter and going on current form Thomond may just be good enough to nick their eighth victory. Galbally face a difficult task when they entertain Bandon. The Limerick side have shown great form after a poor start and they could well take the points. Clonakilty are three points ahead of Richmond but have played one game more than Sunday’s visitors. Richmond need to finish their campaign with a few victories and this is one that they will hope to come away with four points. In division two St Mary’s need a victory when they take on Thurles in Grove Island. The Saints are ten points better off than their opponents but lack of decent match time has been a problem for them this season. Hopefully they will hit the ground running in this game and carve out a very welcome victory that would put more daylight between themselves and Charleville. Thurles have shown improvement with scrum half Nicky Irwin, who had spells with Nenagh and Young Munster, impressive. St Mary’s hope to field close to full strength and, if so, they should get a welcome victory.
Fixtures, kick off 2.30pm unless otherwise stated.
Saturday, 15th February:
Munster Junior League Division 2: Ballincollig v Charleville, Tanner Park, 7pm.
Sunday, 16th February
Munster Junior League Division 1: Clonakilty v Richmond, The Vale.
Crosshaven v Abbeyfeale, Crosshaven.
Galbally v Bandon, Galbally.
Kilfeacle v Waterpark, Kilfeacle.
Mallow v Thomond, Mallow.
Newcastle West v St. Senan’s, Newcastle West.
Skibbereen v Clanwilliam, Skibbereen.
Division 2: Cobh Pirates v Tralee, Cobh.
Fermoy v Muskerry, Fermoy.
Kinsale v Dungarvan, Kinsale.
Old Christians v Fethard, Rathcooney.
St. Mary’s v Thurles, Grove Island.
Division 3: Bantry Bay v Chorca Dhuibhne, Bantry.
Douglas-Carrigaline v Killarney, Wilton.
Killorglin v Ennis, Killorglin.
Scariff v Waterford City, Scariff.
Youghal v Dunmanway, Youghal.

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