Domestic Rugby preview for Sat 22nd Dec 2018 by George Millar

Instonians bit first:

Next Instonian 1st XV Match:

Sat 29th Dec

1st XV home to Cooke 1st XV

Need we say anymore?

Pre-match Lunch

To book your spaces at the 1st XV lunch contact:

Ken Bamford

0783 466 5095

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Frequently I am asked where I get all my enthusiasm for the Domestic game from. It is you the volunteers and the clubs who deserved to have a voice to speak on their behalf. What I have witnessed over the last six seasons is the growing support there is within the communities to get behind their local rugby  clubs. Despite the difficult conditions at Upritchard Park last Saturday Bangor President Davy Morrow and club Chairman Jonny Watson were delighted to welcome Omagh club officials and supporters to a well attended pre match lunch. The atmosphere both before and after the match in the clubhouse was a testimony to the direction clubs are moving in. It is not so long ago clubs were struggling to attract crowds to their clubhouses. How times have changed. It has also been so pleasing to hear reports of sell out pre match lunches in clubs across the province. Again this is down to the work the club volunteers are putting in to promote their local community club. Social media continues to play a crucial role and it is great to see platforms supported by several thousand followers. The hard work put in by volunteers along with the Ulster Branch and Ulster Rugby staff are important in building on the progress we are making. Well done to everybody involved.  



Ten points separate the 10 teams in this league after nine matches with City of Armagh the best placed Ulster side as they sit level on 25 points alongside leaders St Mary’s College. When you consider there is a maximum of 45 points available from these opening nine matches the fact that the leaders are on 25 points shows how competitive this league is. Ballymena were sitting in 10th place until they won their last three league matches. They find themselves in 9th place seven points behind the top two sides. It was interesting to note the strong start made by Malone winning 4/5 of their opening games only to win one from four before the Xmas break as they look to end a losing run of three games. Banbridge were another side to make a strong start winning 3/5 only to lose 3/4 to find themselves in 7thplace three points ahead of 9th place Ballymena. Ballynahinch under Brian McLaughlin made a slow start winning two and drawing one. They have bounced back winning 3/4 to sit one point behind the top two teams. The surprise or should we be surprised has been the performances put in by City of Armagh to head the table alongside St Mary’s College.

You can see the impact of having Ulster squad players in teams has had in the early season performances of Malone and Banbridge with their presence enabling Ballynahinch and Ballymena to put together winning runs in rounds 6 – 9. You can also see how the promotion challenge of Ballynahinch has been turned around by having Peter Nelson and Johnny McPhillips in the backs along with having Kyle McCall, Zach McCall and Tommy O’Hagan available in the front row. Players such as John Andrew’s, Matty Rea, Marcus Rea and Clive Ross along with Ulster prospects Bruce Houston and Michael Stronge have played a key role in the improved performance of the Ballymena team in recent games. Banbridge despite having several Ulster players in their starting xv have lost their last two games and have slipped down the league table. Malone are another team who have lost their last three games despite having Ulster players Ross Kane, Adam McBurney, Matty Dalton and Joe Dunleavy available along with Stewart Moore.

As I have said City of Armagh 1st xv continue to surprise many rugby pundits with their progress over the last three seasons. Having secured promotion via the playoffs they find themselves well positioned to challenge for promotion to Div 1A. What an achievement that would be considering they have had to rely on a club playing squad without any Ulster players. This playing squad was first assembled by Brian McLaughlin with coaches Willy Faloon and Chris Parker now in charge of moving forward this ambitious club.

No doubt when the second half of the league programme kicks off on the 19th January 2019 we will witness an equally competitive contest between the ten teams in this league as they fight it out for the automatic promotion place and a place in the top four to make the playoffs never mind the battle to avoid finishing in the bottom two places. All teams in the league have lost between 3 and 5 games with the exception of 10th place Buccaneers who have lost 7 games.


After a promising start winning 3/5 of their opening games to make the top four - Queens University have lost their last four league games to slip down into 5th place. They find themselves only seven points ahead of 9th place Nenagh Ormond and will need a strong start when the league resumes in January. Both coaches Derek Suffern and DJ Creighton have much work to do over the Xmas break to rekindle the ambitions of this talented squad to make the playoffs.


Early season results did not promise much in this league for the three Ulster teams Rainey OB, Dungannon and Belfast Harlequins. After round 9 Rainey have moved up into 3rd place on the back of a six match unbeaten run after losing their opening three matches. Head coach John Andrews has had to rely on a young playing squad with half backs Jason Bloomfield and Andy Magrath along with Captain Paul Pritchard and former Ulster player Timmy Barker playing a key part in the promotion ambitions of this team.

Belfast Harlequins survived in this league after defeating Omagh in a playoff last season. They find themselves in 9thplace and facing the playoffs once again. Having won 2/5 of their opening games - they have now lost their last four league games. Head coach Nicky Wells has much work to do to turn around the fortunes of this team.

Dungannon find themselves in 10th place facing relegation this season on the back of a four match losing run. They won 2/5 of their opening matches only to once again struggle this season. Again Head coach Andy Hughes  has much work to do to keep Dungannon in this league.


Omagh Head coach Philip Marshall was delighted to see his players dig deep to come from a 13 – 9 deficit to win 19 – 13 at Bangor to keep their promotion ambitions alive. Their Captain and scrum half Stewart McCain was once again a key figure in guiding his team to victory. They have won 3/ 4 last games played and find themselves eight points behind leaders Ballina  in 4th place. Their challenge in the second half of the season is to reverse defeats against top three sides Ballina, Midleton and Bruff if they are going to win the league. They have Ballina and Bruff at home and will travel to Cork to play Midleton.

Like City of Armagh – Omagh are a club who have put in place structures to develop their own players.

Bangor after a promising start have slipped to 6th place on the back of one win from their last four games. Again coaches Michael Ferguson and Lewis Stevenson will need a strong start to their campaign when the league resumes in January.

City of Derry will have a real battle on their hands to keep their place in the All Ireland League. Having lost their last four games they find themselves in 8th place six points ahead of 10th place Seapoint.  Again Director of Rugby Paul O’Kane and his coaching team will be hoping they can reverse their fortunes when the league resumes.



For the Ulster AIL clubs there will be no break over the Xmas period like their southern counterparts. What we have in round 4 and 5 of the SONI Ulster Rugby Premiership are the concluding matches that will decide the destiny of the Stevenson Shield this season and who will be relegated to Div 2. Holders City of Armagh find themselves in 6th place facing relegation after losing their opening three matches.  They meet 5th placed Ballymena at the Palace Grounds with the visitors having a two point advantage. A win for Ballymena will see City of Armagh playing their rugby in Div 2 next season. A win for City of Armagh will see them travelling to Queens University in round 5 with Ballymena hosting Banbridge at Eaton Park to decide who plays in Div 2 next season.

The battle at the top for the Stevenson Shield involves Malone, Queens University, Banbridge and Ballynahinch with two points separating the four teams. Malone and Queens University top Div 1 on eleven points with a win crucial for both teams at Gibson Park this week. Malone then make the journey to Ballynahinch in round 5 with Queens University hosting City of Armagh. Banbridge host Ballynahinch with their final game away to Ballymena whilst Ballynahinch host Malone. Wins for Malone and Ballynahinch could see the destiny of the Stevenson Shield decided at Ballymacarn Park on the 29th December. There are so many potential permutations that could see the Stevenson Shield being won by any of the top four sides if Queens University and Banbridge were to win this weekend. So much at stake for all six teams in the three fixtures this weekend.


It is much more clear cut in this league with Rainey OB favourites to win this league. They host second place Belfast Harlequins at Hatrick Park knowing a win will secure promotion to Div 1 next season. After a slow start to their All Ireland League campaign the Magherafelt side find themselves in 3rd place in Div 2B on the back of a six match unbeaten run. Not only are Rainey competing for promotion in the All Ireland League and the SONI Ulster Rugby Premiership they have made the last four of the First Trust Senior Cup where they will play City of Armagh in the semi finals on Saturday 5th January for a place in the Final on the 8th February. Under Head coach John Andrews the disappointment of missing out on promotion last season as been set aside as this ambitious club continue to make progress this season.

Belfast Harlequins Head coach Nicky Wells will be hoping his players can upset the form book by winning their two remaining league games to return to Div 1. A lot at stake for these two clubs in rounds 4 and 5.

The coaches at Dungannon, City of Derry and Bangor will be using the Ulster Rugby Premeirship games to build momentum for the second half of the All Ireland League starting on the 19th January. Omagh continue to make strides as they hope to go one step further in securing promotion to Div 2B next season.

City of Armagh 1st xv continue their hectic 10 weeks of rugby before they get a break by taking on Rainey OB in the semi finals of the First Trust Senior Cup on the 5th January 2019 followed by their All Ireland Bateman Cup semi final against either Buccaneers or Galway Corinthians at the Palace Grounds on Saturday 12th January before they resume their AIL campaign on the 19th January.

Ballymena and Ballynahinch will contest the other semi final of the First Trust Senior Cup at Eaton Park on Saturday 5th January 2019.

You can see teams like City of Armagh, Ballynahinch, Ballymena and Rainey OB will get very little rest before Round 10 of the All Ireland League resumes on the 19th January. Having depth in your playing squad will be crucial for these teams over the next four weeks.


Ballynahinch seconds v Dromore

This match will be played at the Kingspan stadium on Wednesday the 2nd January 2019 with a 7.30PM kick off. Details of how to purchase tickets will be available on the Ulster Rugby website.



There will be disappointment that Dromore had five points deducted from their 54 – 0 win over CIYMS on the 13thOctober 2018 at Barban Hill otherwise the top two teams Ballyclare and Dromore would only be separated by one point going into their league meeting at Barban Hill on Saturday 29th December. It will be a busy five days for Dromore coaches Jonny Cullen and Jamie Kirk as they look to manage their players through two potential Cup Finals with Dromore playing Ballynahinch seconds in the Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup Final at the Kingspan stadium on Wednesday the 2nd of January. Ballyclare coaches Mike McKeever and Ricky Lutton will be hoping to extend their six point advantage with a win to further open up the gap between them and the chasing pack. Looking at the league table you will see that there is a clear split between the top five teams and the bottom five teams with the second half of the season coming up. A place in the top four will guarantee you a place in the AIL Junior Cup next season. If the league winners are promoted to the All Ireland League the 5th place team will take their place in the AIL Junior Cup. Everything to play for with Cooke 1st xv making a challenge for a top four place this season. The Shaws bridge side are coached by Colin Atkinson and Philip Cartmill and find themselves only four points behind 4th place Grosvenor with a game in hand. Ironically the fixture in hand is a postponed game from the 22nd September 2018 against Grosvenor at Gibson Park with no date having been set for the rearranged game. Cooke also find themselves nine points behind 3rdplace Instonians with both teams meeting at Shawsbridge on Saturday 29th December. Another tasty fixture with both teams in good form. 4th place Grosvenor have no league game on the 29th December and will complete their Conference league programme at the Palace Grounds on the same date against in form City of Armagh seconds who are chasing Ballyclare for the Conference league One title they won last season.

In the bottom half of Div 1 six points separate the bottom five teams with Coleraine in 10th place five points adrift of 9th place CIYMS who have played one game more. One point separates Enniskillen, Carrickfergus, Portadown and CIYMS in 6th – 9th place. Last season Portadown finished in 9th place and had to defeat Randalstown in the play off match to retain their place in Div 1. Enniskillen finished in 8th place one point ahead of Portadown. Both teams find themselves  once again battling to avoid relegation this season. Having strengthened their playing squads in the off season there was a belief both these teams would be competing for a top four finish. They both meet in a crucial league game at Mullaghmeen on December the 29th with Enniskillen looking to reverse their 24 – 0 defeat at home to Portadown on the 6th January 2018. Coleraine Head coach Benjy Van De Byl will be looking his players to end their losing run when Carrickfergus are the visitors to Rugby Avenue on the 29th December. Carrick coaches Davy Scott and Michael Rainey will be hoping their narrow defeat against Instonians will turn around their season. CIYMS have no scheduled league match with their final Conference league game at home to Ballynahinch seconds brought forward to the 22nd December.

Interesting weekend coming up on the 29th December that could decide the ambitions or otherwise of the 10 teams in this Division. Last season both Carrickfergus and CIYMS finished in the top four. Now both find themselves at the wrong end of the table. Enniskillen, Carrickfergus, CIYMS and Coleraine had returned to Div 1 in recent seasons. What lessons will teams and clubs have learned to compete at the top end of Div 1. We have witnessed the progress Omagh and Ballyclare have made with Grosvenor making a strong statement after promotion this season.


Five points separate the top four teams in this league with Limavady, Academy and Randalstown having a game in hand on leaders Clogher Valley. This weekend we have the first of the big clashes over the Xmas period involving the top four with Limavady hosting Clogher Valley at the John Hunter Grounds Kick off 2PM. Academy play 5th place Ballymoney at Roughfort on Sat 29th December with Clogher Valley, Limavady and Randalstown  involved in Conference league games. In the bottom half of the table Ards and Lurgan are level on 15 pts in 6th and 7th place. One other interesting game on the 29th December is the meeting of 8th place Larne and 9th place Lisburn at the Glynn with four points separating the two teams. Lisburn recorded their first league win of the season after defeating UUC at home last Saturday with Larne suffering their third league defeat in a row after playing top five sides – Ballymoney, Academy and Randalstown. Looking at the score lines - Larne were competitive in these games and will prove difficult opponents for Lisburn. A win is vital for Larne coach Graham Cloke and Lisburn coaches Nathan Moore and Gareth Shortt to avoid 9th place and the playoffs.

In Conference 2 Academy, Limavady and Randalstown will contest the league title with five points separating the three teams with two games left to play.


Donaghadee remain the pacesetters in this league with an eight point advantage over second place Monaghan with the two teams set to meet at Donaldson Park on Saturday the 29th December. Dee coaches Paul Blewitt and Chris Good will be delighted with the progress the playing squad has made this season after losing out to UUC in the playoffs last season. A win over Monaghan would consolidate their position as favourites to win this league and secure promotion to Div 2 next season.






Dublin University 6 Lansdowne 17

Terenure College 14 Cork Constitution 34

UUC 12 Garryowen 14

Young Munster 11 Clontarf 17

Shannon 9 UCD 8


Naas 8 Old Belvedere 10

Old Wesley 20 St Mary’s College 9

Ballynahinch 11 Malone 7

Ballynahinch team: 1. Kyle McCall, 2. Clayton Milligan, 3. Tommy O’Hagan, 4. John Donnan, 5.Campbell Classon, 6. Keith Dickson, 7. Ollie Loughead, 8. Conall Boomer, 9. Rhys O’Donnell, 10. Johnny McPhillips, 11. Aaron Cairns (Capt), 12. Robin Harte, 13. Ross Adair, 14. Iwan Hughes, 15. Peter Nelson, 16.Conor Piper, 17. Jonny Blair, 18. Thomas Donnan, 19.Ryan Wilson, 20. Connor Phillips.

Points scorers: Ross Adair 1 x try, Johnny McPhillips 2 x pens

Malone team: 1. Peter Cooper, 2. Adam McBurney, 3. Ross Kane, 4. Matthew Dalton, 5. Jonathan Davis, 6. Michael Shiels, 7. Dave Cave, 8. Joe Dunleavy, 9. Shane Kelly, 10. Callum Smith, 11. David McMaster, 12. Neil Alcorn, 13. Josh Pentland (Capt), 14. Ben McCaughey, 15. Rory Campbell, 16. Dan Kerr, 17. Ricky Greenwood, 18. Josh Davidson, 19. Connor Spence, 20. Gareth Millar.

Points scorers: Penalty try + con

Banbridge 14 City of Armagh 15

Banbridge team: 1. Michael Cromie (Capt), 2. Peter Cromie, 3. Stuart Cromie, 4. Alex Thompson, 5. Stephen Irvine, 6. Caleb Montgomery, 7. David McCann, 8. Greg Jones, 9. Jonny Stewart, 10. Niall Armstrong, 11. Rob Lyttle, 12. James Hume, 13. Andrew Morrison, 14. Conor Field, 15. Adam Doherty, 16. Corrie Barrett, 17. Ross Haughey, 18. Chris Allen, 19. Johnny Little, 20. John Porter.

Points scorers: Penalty try +con, Rob Lyttle 1 x try, Adam Doherty 1 x con.

City of Armagh team: 1. Paul Mullan, 2. Jonny Morton, 3. Philip Fletcher, 4. Peter Starrett, 5. Josh McKinley, 6. James Hanna, 7. Robert Whitten, 8. Neil Faloon, 9. Harry Doyle. 10. Harry Boyd, 11. Ryan Purvis, 12. Chris Colvin (Capt), 13. Evin Crummie, 14. Andrew Willis, 15. Tim McNiece, 16. Andrew Smyth, 17. Eoin O’Hagan, 18. James Morton, 19. Jonny Pollock, 20. Shea O’Brien.

Points scorers: Andrew Willis 1 x try, 1 x Penalty try + con, Ryan Purvis 1 x pen.

Buccaneers 22  Ballymena 27

Ballymena team: 1. Nacho Clandero Crespo, 2. Jonny Spence, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. Connor Smyth, 6. JJ McKee, 7. Marcus Rea, 8. Clive Ross, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Tim Small, 11. Darrell Montgomery, 12. Bruce Houston, 13. Matthew Norris, 14. Robert Balacoune, 15. Rodger McBurney, 16. Houston Bonnar, 17. Andrew Ferguson, 18. Mark Foster, 19. Sam Millar, 20. Johnny McMullan.

Points scorers: 1 x Penalty try + con, David Whann and Michael Stronge 1 x try each, Tim Small 2 x cons and 2 x pens


Cashel RFC 23 Navan RFC 7

Old Crescent 10 UL Bohemians 13

Galwegians 20 Nenagh Ormond 12

Highfield 66 Blackrock College 31

Dolphin 13 Queens University 10

Queens University team: 1. Nicky Woods, 2. Alexander Clarke, 3. Brian Cunningham, 4. David Whitten (Capt), 5. James Longwell, 6. Remy Rees Goddard, 7. Andrew McGrath, 8. Gary Dillon, 9. Conor McAuley, 10. Richie McMaster, 11. Jonny Hunter, 12. Mark Keane, 13. Robbie Johnston, 14. Fal El Falve, 15. Michael Orr, 16. Matthew Millar, 17. David Swann, 18. Curtis Pollock, 19. Matthew Keane, 20. Simon McMaster.

Points scorers: Fal El Falve and David Swann 1 x try each.


Greystones 6 MU Barnhall 21

Skerries 5 Sunday’s Well 0

Wanderers 14 Galway Corinthians 8

Rainey OB 29 Dungannon 0

Rainey OB team: 1. Aidan McSwiggan, 2. George Fritz, 3. Kieran Donaghy, 4. Ronan McCusker, 5. Timmy Barker, 6. Charlie Clarke, 7. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 8. Michael McCusker, 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Oisin Quinn, 12. Conor Fitzsimons, 13. Damien Mcmurray, 14. Andrew Donaghy, 15. Michael O’Neill, 16. Jack McIntosh, 17.    18. John McCusker, 19. Andy Harbinson, 20. Fintan Quinn.

Points scorers: Oisin Quinn, Michael O’Neill, Jason Bloomfield and George Fritz 1 x try each, Andrew Magrath 1 x try and 2 x cons.

Dungannon team: 1.

Sligo 24 Belfast Harlequins 14

Belfast Harlequins team: 1. Mark McGrath (Capt), 2. Saul Herdman, 3. Charlie Sargaison, 4. Callum Leckey, 5. Troy Webber, 6. Daryl Marshall, 7. Matthew Borne, 8. Ben Alexander, 9. David Devine, 10. Timmy Emerson, 11. Peter Dunlop, 12. Jordan Hilton, 13. Kyle Adams. 14. James McConnell, 15. Jordan McIIrath, 16. Morgan Ellis, 17. Christian Bennison, 18. James Bovill, 19. Mark Kettyle, 20. Ethan Boal.

Points scorers: Timmy Emerson 1 x try and 3 x pens


Bruff 24 Thomond 7

Seapoint 14 Malahide 32

Tullamore 7 Midleton 14

Bangor 13 Omagh 19

Bangor team: 1. Orran McIImurray, 2. Andrew Shaw, 3. James Leary, 4. Lewis Stevenson, 5. Dave Caughey, 6. David Bradford (capt), 7. James Henley, 8. Mike Weir, 9. Liam Preston, 10. Oscar Yandell, 11. Desi Fusco, 12. Adam Alexander, 13. Mark Widdowson, 14. Nathan Graham, 15. Phil Broderick, 16. Charlie Clegg, 17. Thomas Boyd, 18. Michael Ferguson, 19. Ethan Murray, 20. Declan Maguire.

Points scorers: David Bradford 1 x try, Liam Preston 1 x con and 2 x pens

City of Derry 7 Ballina 26

City of Derry team: 1. James Hamilton, 2. David Ferguson, 3. Ben Pollin, 4. Jack Townley, 5. Gerard Doherty, 6. Craig Huey, 7. Chris Lamberton, 8. Stephen Corr (Capt), 9. Simon Logue, 10. Alex McDonnell, 11. Thomas Cole, 12. Denis Posternak, 13. David Lapsley, 14. David Graham, 15. James Perry, 16. Ross Harkin, 17. Sam Duffy, 18. Jonathan Lyons, 19. Matthew Orr, 20. Philip Duffy.

Points scorers: Gerard Doherty 1 x try, Matthew Orr 1 x con


Ards v Randalstown Postponed

Ballymoney 12 Larne 6

Ballymoney team: 1. Matthew Blair, 2. Kenny McAneaney, 3. Scott Gamble, 4. Danny Platt, 5. John McFetridge, 6. Daniel Ramage, 7. Garvin Bellingham, 8. Timmy Woods, 9. Matthew Steele (Capt), 10. Martin Irwin, 11. Matthew Bell, 12. Connor Creith, 13. Andrew Young, 14. James Cleland, 15. John Hyndman, 16. Russell Blair, 17. Marcel Ngyutin.

Points scorers: Matthew Steele and Garvin Bellingham 1 x try each, Andy Young 1 x con

Larne team: 1. Micah Stevenson, 2. Craig Gibson, 3. Luke Burford, 4. Matt Crampsey, 5. Stuart Johnston, 6. Jonny Cole (Capt), 7. Ryan McAllister, 8. Eddie Hunter, 9. Ryan Garrett, 10. BJ McFaul, 11. Anton White, 12. Matthew Agnew, 13. Jonny Ogilby, 14. Liam Slaughter, 15. Jacob Swann, 16. Chris Rea, 17. Scott Montgomery.

Points scorers: Ryan Garrett 2 x pens

Lisburn 23 UUC 0

Lisburn team: 1. Jamie Dickson (Capt), 2. Pter Graham, 3. Uate Caquea, 4. David Curry, 5. Andy Hamilton, 6. Noel Hooke, 7. Adam Jameson, 8. Kitione Dominiqbau, 9. Andy Neely, 10. Richard McGregor, 11. Craig Walsh, 12. Jonah Manu, 13. Jake Bebbington, 14. Conor Gasgoine, 15. Epi Ratu, 16. Phil Jefferson, 17. Josh Cardosi.

Points scorers: Conor Gasgoine, David Curry, Jake Bebbington 1 x try each, Richard McGregor 1 x con and 2 x pens.

UUC team: 1. Peter Hugh, 2. Michael Smyth, 3. Gary Burke, 4. Jake Stevenson, 5. Dan Morgan, 6. Jack Kilgore, 7. Sam McComb, 8. Den Davison, 9. Chris Allen, 10. Adam Johnston, 11. Neil Stewart, 12. Jacob Cavanagh, 13. Ryan Ashfield, 14. Hayden Maxwell, 15. Sam Hall, 16. Oisin Craig, 17. Ryan Jackson.

Talking to UUC assistant coach Jonny Wright _ Lisburn were tactically very good with out half Richard McGregor having an excellent kicking game that pinned the students back in the first half. For the students they struggled to adapt to the difficult conditions which prevented them playing their usual free running rugby. As the pitch deteriorated coming up to halftime the stronger Lisburn pack and the boot of McGregor dominated the remainder of the match. He felt his student team had underperformed after recent improvements in their performances after losing narrowly to Lurgan 8 – 5.


Academy 29 Ballymena seconds 7

Academy team: 1. Chris Nash, 2. Adam Martin, 3. Troy Wilson, 4. Keith Dobbin, 5. Jamie Watts, 6. Cathal Davis, 7. Lewis Donaldson, 8. Stewart Martin, 9. David Kenny, 10. Chris Cooper, 11. Alan O’Neill, 12. Callum Lyle, 13. Mark Wylie, 14. Jamie Wilson, 15. Stevie Stewart, 16. Lee Moody.

Points scorers: Stewart Martin 2 x tries, Stevie Stewart 1 x try, Chris Cooper 2 x tries and 2 x cons.

Ballymena seconds team: 1. Ashton Logan, 2. Ryan Mattison, 3. Jack Francis, 4. Donovan Waulahan, 5. Reuben Russell, 6. Willy McKay, 7. Matthew Dick, 8. Inoke Knox, 9. Chris Smyth, 10. Eoin Ritson, 11. Jack Lewis, 12. Steven Shaw, 13. Jonny Rossborough, 14. Jack Fleming, 15. Connor Agnew, 16. Connor White, 17. David Forsythe.

Points scorers: Matthew Dick 1 x try, Eoin Ritson 1 x con

Banbridge seconds 6 Limavady 27

Banbridge team: 1. Scott Cromie, 2. Paul Ross, 3. Ross Haughey, 4. Matthew Laird, 5. Alex Megaw, 6. John Wilson, 7. Alex Shannon, 8. Ryan Hughes, 9. Neil Kilpatrick, 10. Ben Thompson, 11. Ben Cross, 12. MaCauley Little, 13. Ross Cartmill, 14.Chris Patterson, 15. Robin Thompson, 16. Christian Trimble, 17. Jordan McKibben.

Points scorers: Robin Thompson 2 x pens.

Limavady team: 1. Clive Scott, 2. Luke Montgomery, 3. John McCollum, 4. Dylan Purdy, 5. John Purcell, 6. Adam Currie, 7. Perry Semple, 8. Ben Riley, 9. David Craig, 10. Jim McCartney, 11. Mark Woods, 12. Stuart Simpson, 13. Matthew Haslett, 14. Rohan Mulligan, 15. Jack Connor, 16. Jason Kerr, 17. Michael Rice.

Points scorers: Mark Woods 2 x tries, Jason Kerr, Clive Scott, Ben Riley 1 x try each, Jim McCartney 1 x con.

Lurgan v Omagh seconds Postponed

Malone seconds v Clogher Valley Postponed.


BHSFP v Ophir Postponed

Cavan 14 Monaghan 30

Holywood v Letterkenny Postponed

Newry v Donaghadee Postponed

PSNI v Civil Service Postponed

Virginia v Strabane Postponed




Cork Constitution 30 Shannon 29

Clontarf 12 Dublin University 16

Cork Constitution 26 Young Munster 3

Lansdowne 31 UCC 15

UCD 31 Terenure College 3


Old Belvedere 11 Buccaneers 10

Ballymena 18 Ballynahinch 10

Ballymena team: 1. Josh Bill, 2. John Andrews, 3. Chris Cundell, 4. David Whann, 5. Connor Smyth, 6. Clive Ross, 7. Marcus Rea, 8. Azur Allison, 9. Michael Stronge, 10. Bruce Houston, 11. Jordan Foster, 12. Tim Small, 13. Matthew Norris, 14. Robert Balacoune, 15. Rodger McBurney, 16. Nacho Clandero Crespo, 17. Jonny Spence, 18. Stephen Mulholland, 19. JJ McKee, 20. Darrell Montgomery.

Points scorers: Michael Stronge and Jordan Foster 1 x try each, Timothy Small 1 x con and 2 x pens.

Ballynahinch team: 1. Tommy O’Hagan, 2. Zack McCall, 3. Tom O’Toole, 4. John Donnan, 5. Campbell Classon, 6. Keith Dickson, 7. Ollie Loughead, 8. Conall Boomer, 9. Rhys O’Donnell, 10. Hilton Gibbons, 11. Aaron Cairns, 12. Ryan Wilson, 13. Callum Mclaughlin, 14. Ross Adair, 15. Peter Nelson, 16. Clayton Milligan, 17. Conor Piper, 18. Thomas Doonan, 19. Robin Harte, 20. Connor Phillips.

Points scorers: Rhys O’Donnell 1 x try, Peter Nelson 1 x con and 1  x pen.

City of Armagh 16 Naas 11

City of Armagh team: 1. Paul Mullan, 2. Jonny Morton, 3. Philip Fletcher, 4. Peter Starrett, 5. Josh McKinley, 6. James Hanna, 7. Robert Whitten, 8. Neil Faloon, 9. Harry Doyle, 10. Harry Boyd, 11. Ryan Purvis, 12. Jonny Pollock, 13. Evin Crummie, 14. Andrew Willis, 15. Tim McNiece, 16. Andrew Smyth, 17. Eoin O’Hagan, 18. James Morton, 19. John Faloon, 20. Shea O’Brien.

Points scorers: Andrew Willis 1 x try, Ryan Purvis 1 x con and 3 x pens

Malone 12 Old Wesley 16

Malone team: 1. Peter Cooper, 2. Adam McBurney, 3. Ricky Greenwood, 4. Jonathan Davis, 5. Michael Shiels, 6. Matthew Hadden, 7. Ross Todd (Capt), 8. Joe Dunleavy, 9. Shane Kelly, 10. Callum Smith, 11. David McMaster, 12.Josh Pentland, 13. Stewart Moore, 14. Ben McCaughey, 15. Rory Campbell, 16. Dan Kerr, 17. Ben Halliday, 18. Josh Davidson, 19. Graham Curtis, 20. Gareth Millar.

Points scorers: Rory Campbell 4 x pens.

St Marys College 28 Banbridge 7

Banbridge team: 1. Michael Cromie (Capt), 2. Peter Cromie, 3. Stuart Cromie, 4. Chris Allen, 5. Stephen Irvine, 6. Caleb Montgomery, 7. Ethan Harbinson, 8. Greg Jones, 9. Jonny Stewart, 10. Johnny little, 11. John Porter, 12. Ben Carson, 13. Andrew Morrison, 14. Conor Field, 15. Adam Doherty, 16 Corrie Barrett, 17. Ross Haughey,18. Matthew Laird, 19. Niall Armstrong, 20. Hugo Harbinson.

Points scorers: Peter Cromie 1 x try, Adam Doherty 1 x con 


Blackrock College 24 Old Crescent 10

Navan RFC 28 Galwegians 7

Nenagh Ormond 17 Highfield 36

UL Bohemians 29 Dolphin 14

Queens University 13 Cashel RFC 19

Queens University team:

Points scorers: Angus Kernohan, Conor McAuley 1 x try each, Richie McMaster 1 x pen


Galway Corinthians 17 Sligo 19

MU Barnhall v Wanderers. Postponed

Belfast Harlequins 10 Skerries 10

Belfast Harlequins team: 1. Mark McGrath, 2. Saul Herdman, 3. Tom Fraser, 4. Toby Mannus (Capt), 5. Troy Webber, 6. Jaz Andress, 7. Daryl Marshall, 8. Ben Alexander, 9. David Devine, 10. Timmy Emerson, 11. Peter Dunlop, 12. Paul Kerr, 13. Mark Gribben, 14. James McConnell, 15. Mark Glover, 16. Matthew Borne, 17, Charlie Sargaison, 18. Callum Leckey, 19. Christian Bennison, 20. Kyle Adams.

Points scorers: Peter Dunlop 1 x try, Mark Gribben 1 x con and 1 x pen.

Dungannon 17 Greystones 20

Dungannon team: 1. Glen Sinnamon, 2. James McNeill, 3. Sean O’Hagan, 4. Alex Gormley, 5. Guilhem Lopez, 6. David Leyburn, 7. Mark Riddell, 8. Jonah Mau’u, 9. John Russell, 10. John Buckley, 11. Caolan Mulgrew, 12. Lucca Avelli, 13. Andrew McPhillips, 14. Matthew Montgomery, 15. Conor McGeough, 16. Andrew McGregor, 17. Adam Milligan, 18. Stephen Todd, 19. Daniel Mikolajczyk, 20. Jonathan Gamble.

Points scorers: Jonah Mau’u and Caolan Mulgrew 1 x try each, Lucca Avelli 2 x cons and 1 x pen

Sunday’s Well 6 Rainey OB 41

Rainey OB team: 1. Jack McIntosh, 2. Aidan McSwiggan, 3. Fintan Quinn, 4. Ronan McCusker, 5. Michael McCusker, 6. Charlie Clarke, 7. Paul Pritchard (Capt), 8. George Fritz, 9. Jason Bloomfield, 10. Andrew Magrath, 11. Scott McLean,12. Andrew Browne, 13. Conor Fitzsimons, 14. Andrew Donaghy, 15. Michael O’Neill, 16. Stephen Rutledge, 17. Michael Caithness, 18. Michael Nevin, 19. Mark Mulholland, 20. A Hall.

Points scorers: Andrew Donaghy 2 x tries, Charlie Clarke, Paul Pritchard, George Fritz and Michael McCusker 1 x try each, Andrew Magrath 4 x cons and 1 x pen.


Malahide 19 Bruff 14

Thomond 20 Tullamore 27

Ballina 14 Bangor 12

Bangor team: 1.Orran McIImurray, 2. Andrew Shaw, 3. James Leary, 4. Lewis Stevenson, 5. Dave Caughey, 6. Craig Burton, 7. Mike Weir, 8. Curtis Stewart, 9. Shaun Fair, 10. Liam Preston, 11. Desi Fusco, 12. Adam Alexander, 13, Mark Widdowson, 14. Adam McCusker, 15. Nathan Graham, 16. Charlie Clegg, 17. Andrew Jackson, 18. Michael Ferguson, 19. David Bradford, 20. Declan Maguire.

Points scorers: 1 x Penalty try + con, Dave Caughey 1 x try

Midleton 36 City of Derry 7

City of Derry team:1. James Hamilton, 2. Colm Cregan, 3. Ben Pollin, 4. Adam Bratton, 5. Gerard Doherty, 6. Ross Harkin, 7. David Ferguson, 8. Stephen Corr (Capt), 9. Philip Duffy, 10. Alex McDonnell, 11. Thomas Cole, 12. Denis Posternak, 13. David Lapsley, 14. David Graham, 15. James Perry, 16. Paddy Owens, 17. Jack Townley,18. A Deery, 19. Matthew Orr, 20. D Walker.

Points scorers: David Graham 1 x try, Alex McDonnell 1 x con.

Omagh 34 Seapoint 5

Omagh team: 1. Kyle Alexander, 2. Phil Ewing, 3. Richard Smyth, 4. Johnny Sproule, 5. James Sproule, 6. Kaine Holden, 7. Michael Gibson, 8. Matthew Clyde, 9. Stewart McCain (Capt), 10. Stuart Ballantine, 11. Ryan Mitchell, 12. Luke Hanson, 13. Scott Barr, 14. Neil Brown, 15. Scott Elliott, 16. Richard Hemphill,17. Ethan McKeown, 18. Mervyn Edgar, 19. Eoin Murnaghan, Matthew Eccles.

Points scorers: Stewart McCain, Michael Gibson, Phil Ewing, Scott Barr and mervyn Edgar 1 x try each, Scott Elliott 1 x try and 1 x con, Stuart Ballantine 1 x con.


Ballyclare 40 Coleraine 8

Ballyclare team: 1. Dean Jones, 2. Jack Black, 3. Al Boyd, 4. Robert Boyd, 5. Grant Bartley (Capt), 6. Paul Robinson, 7. Gary Weatherup, 8. Ryan Tweed, 9. Andy Eastop, 10. Robbie Reid, 11. Michael Kirk, 12. Willie Stewart, 13. Joel McBride, 14. Owen Kirk, 15. Niall Lawther, 16. Rory Henderson, 17. Gary Clotworthy.

Points scorers: Jack Black and Joel McBride 2 x tries each, Ryan Tweed and Niall Lawther 1 x try each, Robbie Reid 5 x cons.

Coleraine team: 1. Cillian Butler, 2. Andy McKee, 3. Marek Juzel, 4. Fergal Wiseman, 5. Keith McKnight, 6. Bernard Mullan, 7. Simon McLean, 8. Josh Christie, 9. Bruce Kirkpatrick, 10. Gavin Piennar, 11. Stevie Callaghan, 12. Bradley Dempster, 13. Robin Sidla, 14. Brian Cochrane, 15. Martin Senk, 16. Chris Breadon, 17. Greg Jordan.

Points scorers:

Carrickfergus 3 Instonians 8

Carrickfergus team: 1. Gareth McKeown, 2.Alan Whitley, 3. James Graham, 4. Chris Rodgers, 5. Ian McMenamin, 6. Robert O’Callaghan, 7. Ross Crymble, 8. Ryan McGonigle (Capt), 9. Conor Cambridge, 10. David Carse, 11. David Moore, 12. Adam White, 13. Jack Burton, 14. Fionn McCormick, 15. Simon Wallace, 16. J McIIwaine, 17. J Millar.

Points scorers: Fionn McCormick 1 x pen

Instonians team: 1.Conor Gallagher, 2. Cameron Barr, 3. John Andress, 4. Alan Whitten, 5.Sean Shuttleworth, 6. Johnny Mooney, 7. Massimo Kiri Kiri, 8. James Martin, 9. Paul Marshall, 10. Richard McCarthy, 11. Ross O’Donnell, 12. Paddy Bell, 13. Matthew Kilpatrick, 14. Colm Cregan, 15. Andrew Keane, 16. Donal Maloney, 17. Tom Matthews.

Points scorers: Sean Shuttleworth 1 x try, Andrew Keane 1 x pen

Cooke 34 CIYMS 20

Cooke team: 1. Jonathan McClune, 2. Curtis Montgomery, 3. Ian Moxen, 4. Matthew Crothers, 5. Jonathan Walsh, 6. Matthew Elliott, 7. Callum Robinson, 8. Jason Lyons, 9. Ryan Flavelle, 10. Alan Gourley, 11. Phil Wood, 12. Kyle Mitchell (capt), 13. Philip Cartmill, 14. Andrew Nelson, 15. Alex Gourley, 16. Ian Anderson, 17. Russell Hunter.

Points scorers: Philip Cartmill, Kyle Mitchell, Jason Lyons 1 x try each, 1 x Penalty try + con, Alan Gourley 4 x cons and 2 x pens, ( 14 points)

CIYMS team:

Grosvenor 7 Dromore 46

Grosvenor team: 1. Mark Rainey, 2. Stuart Smyth, 3. Willy Rea, 4. Peter Dawson, 5. Matthew Cahoon, 6. Jeff Mealiff, 7. Sam Purdon, 8. Andrew Kelly (Capt), 9. Allen McCluggage, 10. Peter Davison, 11. Jamie McMullan, 12. Jos McConkey, 13. Connor McKee, 14. Shane Johnston, 15. Dean Swift, 16. Neil Adams, 17. Mark Cartmill.

Points scorers: Allen McCluggage 1 x try + con.

Dromore team: 1. Justy Savage, 2. Fraser Mulholland, 3. Tom Little, 4. Matthew McMaster, 5. Ross Bingham, 6. Jonny Maguire, 7. Adam McGregor, 8. Ben Heath, 9. Lee Steenson, 10. David Lyttle, 11. Andrew Gilmore, 12. Graeme McCandless, 13. Andrew Rutledge, 14. David Pyper, 15. Brian McClearn, 16. Andrew Black, 17. Blair McDonald.

Points scorers:


Enniskillen 12 Ballynahinch seconds 10

Enniskillen team: 1. Gavin Warrington, 2. Ryan Cathcart (Capt), 3. Alan Ferguson, 4. David Buchanan, 5. Gavin Parke, 6. Jamie Kelly, 7. John Arnold, 8. Jack Rutledge, 9. Matty Dane, 10. Nick Finlay, 11. Johnny Magwood, 12. Tyler Millar, 13. James Ferguson, 14. Jarleth Maguire, 15. Donagh O’Callaghan, 16. Richard Beatty, 17. Stephen Welsh.

Points scorers: Gavin Warrington 1x try, Nick Finlay 1 x try and 1 x con.

Ballynahinch team:

Portadown 26 City of Armagh seconds 47

Portadown team: 1. Mark Henderson, 2. A McMaster, 3. Matthew Wilson, 4. Matt Stevens, 5. Rodney Blair, 6. Aaron Abraham, 7. Jordan Taylor, 8. Lloyd Gravitt, 9. Brian Forrestal, 10. Brett Fleck, 11. Josh Matchett, 12. Mark Adamson, 13. Tom Ceasar, 14. Jack Orr, 15. Luke Ashton, 16. Jonathan Reid, 17. N Gordon.

Points scorers: Jordan Taylor 2 x tries, Matt Stevens and Tom Ceasar 1 x try each, Mark Adamson 3 x cons.

City of Armagh team: 1. Philip Matthews, 2. Peter Lamb, 3. John Clarke, 4. Stephen Morton (Capt), 5. Willy Martin, 6. Joshua Kennedy, 7. Ryan Morton, 8. Ollie Millar, 9. Gerard Treanor, 10. Cormac Fox, 11. Andrew Magowan, 12. Stuart Lester, 13. Luke Crozier, 14. Matthew Steenson, 15. Kyle Faloon, 16. Jack Treanor, 17. Mark Roleston.

Points scorers: Ollie Millar 3 x tries, Luke Crozier 2 x tries, Matthew Steenson and Kyle Faloon 1 x try each, Cormac Fox 6 x cons.


Clogher Valley 28 Ballymoney 0

Clogher Valley team: 1. Philip Hopper, 2. Kyle Cobane, 3. Neil Henderson, 4. Eugene McKenna, 5. Michael Treanor (Capt), 6. David Sharkey, 7. Ross Finlay, 8. Ryan Wilson, 9. Neil Trotter, 10. Reece Smyton, 11. Joshua Coulter, 12. Andy Johnston, 13. Fleming Agnew, 14. Sam Odor, 15. Ewan Haire, 16. Josh Fegan, 17. Mark McKenna.

Points scorers:  1 x Penalty try + con, Andy Johnston 1 x try, Reece Smyton 2 x tries, 3 x cons  (16 points)

Ballymoney team:

Larne 12 Academy 22

Larne team: 1. Luke Burford, 2. Micah Stevenson, 3. Craig Gibson, 4. Marc Gilbert, 5. Matt Crampsey, 6. Stuart Johnston, 7. Jonny Cole (Capt), 8. Eddie Hunter, 9. Ryan Garrett, 10. BJ McFaul, 11. Anton White, 12. Jonny Ogilby, 13. Matthew Agnew, 14. Liam Slaughter, 15. Aaron McBride, 16. Andrew Hyndman, 17. Jacob Swann.

Points scorers: Ryan Garrett and Aaron McBride 1 x try each, Matty Agnew 1 x con.

Academy team: 1. Chris Nash, 2. Peter Jackson, 3. Troy Wilson, 4. Keith Dobbin, 5. Brian Cahill, 6. Jamie Watts, 7. Stewart Martin, 8. Richard Henderson (Capt), 9. David Kenny, 10. Jordan Buchanan, 11. Stephen Fawcett, 12. Callum Lyle, 13. Mark Wylie, 14. Simon Beattie, 15. Chris Cooper. 16. Adam Martin, 17. Jamie Wilson.

Points scorers: Chris Nash, Richard Henderson, Stuart Martin, Keith Dobbin 1 x try each, Chris Cooper 1 x con.

Limavady 31 Lisburn 5

Limavady team: 1. Clive Scott, 2.Luke Montgomery, 3. John McCollum, 4. Daniel Irvine, 5. John Purcell, 6. Perry Semple. 7. Ben Riley, 8. Jonny Lees, 9. David Craig, 10. Jim McCartney, 11. Stuart Roddy, 12. Stuart Simpson, 13 Jody McMurray, 14. Mark Woods, 15. Graham McAleese, 16. Jason Kerr, 17. Rogan Bell.

Points scorers: Jody McMurray 2 x tries, Ben Riley and Clive Scott 1 x try each, Jim McCartney 1 x try and 3 x cons.         


Lisburn team:

UUC 5 Lurgan 8

UUC team:

Lurgan team: 1. Josh Lyness, 2. Lee Allen, 3. Marty Follis, 4. Neil Adamson, 5. Matthew McConaghy, 6. Lewis Lawson, 7. Ryan Osbourne, 8. Daniel Lyness, 9. Chris Jenks, 10. Dylan Gill, 11. Richard Hull, 12. Te – Rangihaute Whetu, 13. Ben McIIwaine, 14. Ryan Mooney, 15. Stephen Nolan, 16. Ryan Emerson, 17. Richard Shilliday.

Points scorers: Ryan Emerson 1 x try, Ben McIIwaine 1 x pen.


Ballymena seconds 21 Randalstown 17

Ballymena team: 1. Andrew Ferguson, 2. James Taggart, 3.Houston Bonnar, 4. Mark Foster, 5. Inoke Knox, 6. Ryan Mattison, 7. Willy McKay, 8. Matthew Dick, 9. Jack Fleming, 10. Eoin Ritson, 11. Jonny Rossborough, 12. Alan Smyth, 13. James Wheeler, 14. Johnny McMullan, 15. Scott Willoughby, 16. Sam Millar, 17. Reuben Russell.

Points scorers: Johnny McMullan and Matthew Dick 1 x try each, Scott Willoughby 1 x try and 2 x cons, Eoin Ritson 1 x con.

Randalstown team: 1. Matty McBrien, 2. Scott Stevenson, 3. Gary Hume, 4. Dean McCroary, 5. Scott McClenaghan, 6. Peter Knowles, 7. Ian Hume, 8. Tony O’Hagan, 9. Tommy Holland, 10. Michael Smith, 11. Coby Mason, 12. Martin Connolly, 13. Jordan Foster, 14. Stuart Robinson, 15. Eoin Letters, 16. David Smith, 17. Marty O’Neill.

Points scorers: Coby Mason and David Smith 1 x try each, Martin Connolly 2 x cons and 1 x pen.

Banbridge seconds 12 Ards 24

Ards team: 1. Andrew Foster (Capt), 2. Tom Arthur Donnan, 3. Matty Kane, 4. Jonny Harris, 5. Danny Patton, 6. Paddy Bond, 7. Ryan Thompson, 8. Graeme Taylor, 9. Alex Hendrickse, 10. Mark Banford, 11. Trevor Devlin, 12. Jamie Cardwell, 13. David Armstrong, 14.Michael Taylor, 15. Aaron May, 16. Danny McCullough, 17. Sam McVeigh.

Points scorers: David Armstrong, Andrew Foster, Jonny Harris 1 x try each, Trevor Devlin 1 x try and 2 x cons.

Omagh seconds 39 Malone seconds 24

Omagh seconds team: 1. Nathan Kilfedder, 2. Gary Smith, 3. Peter Todd, 4. Glenn McKinley, 5. Richard Harper, 6. Jack Mitchell, 7. Freddie McDowell, 8. Dean Porter (Capt), 9. Adam Beattie, 10. Kylie Beattie, 11. Oscar Nelson, 12. Alan Heaney, 13. Dean Kane, 14. Stephen MacLaine, 15. Taine Lagan, 16. Stuart Lyons, 17. Alistair Beckett.

Malone team:

Points scorers:  Scott Finlay 1 x try, 1 x Penalty try + con, Connor Spence 1 x try, 2 x cons and 1 x pen


Civil Service 10 Monaghan 13

Donaghadee 55 BHSFP 0

Holywood 7 PSNI 10

Letterkenny 18 Strabane 10

Newry 34 Cavan 10

Ophir 5 Virginia 67



Banbridge (3) v Ballynahinch (4)

City of Armagh (6) v Ballymena (5)

Malone (1) v Queens University (2)


Bangor (5) v Dungannon (3)

City of Derry (4) v Omagh (6)

Rainey OB (1) v Belfast Harlequins (2)


Limavady (2) v Clogher Valley (1) KO 2PM


CIYMS (11) v Ballynahinch seconds (5)



Ballymena v Banbridge

Ballynahinch v Malone

Queens University v City of Armagh


Belfast Harlequins v City of Derry

Dungannon v Rainey OB

Omagh v Bangor


Coleraine (10) v Carrickfergus (7)

Dromore (2) v Ballyclare (1)

Enniskillen (6) v Portadown (8)

Instonians (3) v Cooke (5)


City of Armagh seconds v Grosvenor


Academy v Ballymoney

Ards v UUC

Larne v Lisburn


Ballymena seconds v Lurgan

Clogher Valley v Banbridge seconds

Omagh seconds v Limavady

Randalstown v Malone seconds


Cavan (11) v PSNI (3)

Civil Service (8) v Holywood (4)

Donaghadee (1) v Monaghan (2)

Letterkenny (9) v Virginia (5)

Ophir (12) v Newry (7)

Strabane (6) v BHSFP (10)

All fixtures kick off at 2.30PM unless otherwise stated.

Can I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during the first half of the season. Please keep forwarding me any match reports, team lists and points scorers by e mail or text.

It is only left for me to wish you all a happy Xmas and a Happy New Year.