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RE/MAX Leinster League Weekend Preview Week 5

Division 3

Athy have a free weekend this week and it's hard to imagine anything other than new league leaders come Sunday evening. Rathdrum, many people's choice as the overall winner should find themselves in pole position, although their trip to Clondalkin is by no means a certainty.  Rathdrum surprisingly dropped points at home last week and conversely Clondalkin had an impressive win away to North Kildare. Still all things been equal Rathdrum's back play will be the difference and with Tommy Ovary showing such good form they should edge a tight game.

Joining them near the top will be Swords who although unimpressive away to Wexford last week, will have too much power for Malahide in this North Dublin derby. Clane should also pass out Athy with a five point haul against a dogged Birr side.  North Kildare should have enough guile to bounce back this week and Arklow should edge a tight game in Balbriggan, hopefully not as tight as their scoreless thriller last week.

In the basement battle CYMS should make home advantage tell against Wexford.

Division 2

Newbridge scored an emphatic win last week and again this win was through forward dominance.  Newbridge have finally realised they don't have a backline to play the expansive game that they tried to play over the last few years under Bernard Jackman and instead under new coach Rigney they are playing to his and their strengths. I'm still not convinced by this Newbridge side and in a tight division they still have to play the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams.  However, they should pick up another four points on Sunday.

In probably the game of the weekend in Division Two, Sam Rough's Portarlington should bring Tullow's impressive run to a halt.  Portarlington are racking up the points and indeed are top scorers across all three divisions. Kilkenny who are looking to bounce straight back up face a tough trip to Mullingar but should have enough to come away with the points.  Also on the road are Edenderry who face a trip to Enniscorthy.  Defeat here for either party could end their promotion ambitions.  Derry are likely to face a long trip home and in the last game this weekend expect Coolmine should pick-up a bonus at home to New Ross.

Division 1

Last week we had the shock of the season so far with Cill Dara heading to Navan picking up the win, scoring 30 points and earning a bonus point to boot.  That has to be the first real statement of intent from any club so far this season. They will be aiming for five points at home this weekend to Garda and they should pick up them up.  With no relegation this season teams who lose a few games early in the season really have nothing to play for and when you consider that six of Cill Dara's last seven games are against the bottom six they have to considered one of the favourites to win it outright.

Navan can't afford any more slip ups but Dundalk away is hardly the game they would have wanted after last weeks upset.  If Brad Harris is available they might have too much for Van Zyl's adventurous side and much like the last Navan game, expect another high scoring encounter here. Seapoint will have one eye on the visit of Cill Dara in two weeks which is already being talked about as a title decider but they have a visit to Togher this week against unpredictable Portlaoise.  Portlaoise have capitulated at home so far in their two league games and will surely be looking to give the home support something to cheer about.  That said, Seapoint should win in what will be a surprisingly tight game.

Rumours of injuries and turmoil are emanating from Boyne, but even so, their bruising pack should be enough to take the spoils against a game Wicklow side. Ashbourne will be looking for their first win of the season and their pack should lead them home against a very unpredictable Monkstown. The last game of the weekend features two teams who have under achieved this season Tullamore, many peoples tip as dark horses and Skerries tipped by many to build on last season's momentum.  In what will be a tight game, Tullamore to win it with home advantage being the deciding factor.

by Daniel Quinn, © 2007-11-15

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