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Newcastle West against Thomond a highlight of junior league fixtures

By Aidan Corr
THIS coming Sunday all six local junior clubs are again in action, four of them with home advantage.There are just six series of games remaining in both Munster Junior League divisions. After this week-end MJL1 will take a break until early in the New Year while St Mary’s in MJL2 are down to play a game on December 12 away to Kanturk.
It is a crucial period for local clubs in these leagues, mostly for St Mary’s who will have a break until MJL2 resumes on February 9th, 2020. Our other five clubs will resume action on January 5.
Newcastle West’s performance against Richmond last Sunday asked questions of their ability to pip Kilfeacle in the run-in. The Tipperary side’s coming fixtures indicate some relatively easy hurdles and the outcome of this exciting league race could hinge on Newcastle West winning all of their remaining six games with bonus points and Richmond lowering the Kilfeacle colours when the sides meet in Richmond Park on the final day, Sunday, March 15.
The ‘West’ cannot afford any slip-ups and they will be hungry for victory on Sunday when they entertain in-form Thomond. This is going to be a cracker of a game. The north city side are on a roll having beaten Richmond, Waterpark, Bandon, Clanwilliam and St Senan’s in this league. League losses were away to Abbeyfeale last month and Kilfeacle and District on opening day. Victory for Thomond could put them into second place, throwing this league race wide open.
Abbeyfeale need to get a home win when they entertain Clanwilliam. The county side are currently on 15 points in joint 9th position in the table with Bandon while Clanwilliam are 8th and four points adrift of Sunday’s opponents. Losing to Bandon last week-end was a surprise result and Abbeyfeale need to bounce back with a victory. Richmond make the journey to Crosshaven and just a single point separates these two teams. If Richmond are to finish in the top four they need to be winning away games and this will be a big test for them following their good showing last Sunday against Newcastle West.
The Galbally v Clonakilty game will also be interesting. Sixth in the table, ‘Clon’ will be hot favourites to register a comfortable win. They ran up 50 points last week-end and kept Skibbereen scoreless so they are not short of fire-power. A bonus point victory on the cards here for the Cork side but we can expect a big effort from Galbally with every point from their remaining games crucial.
In MJL2 St Mary’s have a chance to move up a place in the table. Sixth placed Muskerry are one point ahead of them and they will come to Grove Island with a lot of confidence. The ‘Saints’ were not too happy with their performance last Sunday when they failed to add to their two first half tries. This is a big game for them and one that could define their season. Playing at their home venue provides extra incentive for the city side. The club has a solid home base of support and they will see this as an opportunity to reap five points. But it won’t be easy.
Fixtures, kick off 2.30pm, unless otherwise stated:
Saturday, 7th December
Munster Junior League Division 1: Mallow v Waterpark, Mallow;
Sunday, 8th December
Munster Junior League Division 1: Abbeyfeale v Clanwilliam, Abbeyfeale
Crosshaven v Richmond, Crosshaven
Galbally v Clonakilty, Galbally
Newcastle West v Thomond, Newcastle West
Skibbereen v Kilfeacle, Skibbereen
St. Senan’s v Bandon, Jim Slattery Park
Division 2: Ballincollig v Kanturk, Tanner Park
Castleisland v Old Christians, Castleisland
Cobh Pirates v Fermoy, Cobh
Dungarvan v Charleville
Fethard v Tralee, Fethard
Kinsale v Thurles, Kinsale
St. Mary’s v Muskerry, Grove Island
Division 3: Bantry Bay v Douglas-Carrigaline, Bantry
Killorglin v Killarney, Killorglin
Mitchelstown v Dunmanway, Mitchelstown;
Scariff v Ennis, Scariff
Youghal v Chorca Dhuibhne, Youghal.

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