For local rugby fans and followers there’s a wealth of action this weekend across mens and womens women, the first of our rugby previews taking a look at life in the Leinster League for mens sides in Carlow, Tullow and Kilkenny.
Kilkenny v Ashbourne
2.30pm Saturday at Foulkstown (Home)
Kilkenny have a bit of making up to do and taking on Ashbourne at home is the right venue and time to do it.
The two sides are level on points, have both won two of their five games, yet a win could – could – send either side close to third spot. Division 1A, even after five games, already looks like it’s a league split in two with Malahide and Enniscorthy running away with things at the top, so the chasing pack need to be racking up the points to ensure they avoid a relegation scrap.
Kilkenny’s home performances so far – perhaps excluding the deep loss to Enniscorthy – have been pretty good. The win over Gorey a few weeks back was well earned, but the comprehensive loss to Malahide still shows something of a gulf in class between Kilkenny and the bigger teams. They’ll be evenly matched against an Ashbourne side that are also coming off a sizeable loss to DLSP and odd as it might sound, the weather in Kilkenny the past two weeks and heading into the weekend may also favour Kilkenny – cool, crisp, and firm under foot.
It’ll be a scrap around the middle but with home advantage and the aforementioned ‘making up to do’, I’d fancy Kilkenny for this one.
Also this Saturday you’ll find DLSP on the road to Dundalk, Enniscorthy host Monkstown while league leaders Malahide head to Gorey. All games kick off at 2.30pm.
Coolmine v Tullow
8pm Friday at Ashbrook (Away)
The old mantra of ‘one game at a time’ seems to be working out for Tullow.
At home this season Tullow have already beaten Wicklow (by 2 points) and Mullingar (by 32) and they’ve shown good form and resilience on road with wins over Portlaoise and most recently, Clondalkin.
For their part, Coolmine won their opening fixture but have lost three in a row since, losing bonus points keeping them afloat for pushing teams close.
Tullow are being methodical about their games and approach to the season and a win over Coolmine would be a real statement of intent heading into the winter fixtures.
Going for the maroon and white on this one.
While Tullow play Friday night, there’s three games down for decision on Sunday with North Kildare entertaining Suttonians, Portlaoise hosting Mullingar at Togher while second play third with Wicklow welcoming Clondalkin to Ashtown Lane. All games kick off at 2.30pm.
Roscrea v Carlow
2.30pm Sunday at Streamstown (Away)
Much like their pre-season, it’s a fifty-fifty run for Carlow in Division 2A at the minute.
They lost their opener to Cill Dara, but shut out Portarlington at Oak Park in week two. Their road trip to Railway Union came up short in week three before they took a three-point win at home to Edenderry ahead of the bank holiday break. Going on form on the road alone, it would be a third loss for Carlow.
But form is temporary and Roscrea haven’t exactly been a shining light in their first four fixtures.
Despite a strong win over Newbridge, they’re coming off the back of a 46-9 defeat to Longford and Carlow should prove stronger at the bank and on the wings than Roscrea.
I fancy Carlow for the win here and they’ll need it too as I expect Longford will beat Newbridge at the same time. Also Sunday you’ve got Edenderry against Portarlington while league leaders Cill Dara are off to Park Avenue to take on Railway Union. All games underway at 2.30pm.
Will we wind up with a trio of wins for local sides? We’ll see what happens come kick off on Friday night for Tullow.