Hopes are High at Woodleigh Park after an excellent run and a staggering 55 tries

Hopes are High at Woodleigh Park after an excellent run and a staggering 55 tries
Highfield's Shane O'Riordan is tackled by Navan's Daragh Magee during the Ulster Bank AIL 2A clash. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

NO team has a set of statistics to compare with Highfield, who sit top of the All-Ireland League Division 2A title at the half-way stage of the competition.

Of the 50 teams operating in the five divisions, the Cork club are a country mile ahead of the rest in terms of their scoring return from nine of 18 scheduled games.

They've already crossed for a staggering 55 tries in posting a league high of 366 points, collecting the most number of bonus points, as well, with nine to their name.

Highfield have scored 133 more points than second-placed Cashel, who are three adrift with Navan in third a further six points behind and the Cork club's points' difference is a whopping 198.

The automatic promotion spot looks like resting between this trio, though with nine more games to be played, it's still a tad premature to be thinking of writing the final chapter.

In the last five games, 'Field bagged an eye-opening 36 tries in demolishing Old Crescent 61-14, Navan 40-10, Galwegians 42-19, Nenagh Ormond 36-10 and just before Christmas, posting a season's best 66 points against Blackrock College.

That game was moved to the 4G pitch at Musgrave Park after Woodleigh Park was ruled out due to bad weather, but Highfield showed they've the ability to handle all eventualities by scoring 10 tries.

Dave O'Sullivan's pair brought his tally to seven in the period and the table-toppers, unsurprisingly, reckon they've another Try of the Month contender for December, having claimed the November prize for Luke Kingston's effort against Crescent.

On that occasion, Ben Murphy, supplied the scoring pass, but the centre practically did it all by himself in crossing against Blackrock.

Murphy found a gap close to the half-way line before chipping into space and controlling the ball with his feet before gathering to complete another exciting attack.

Dave O'Connell, Highfield, battles Ewan Strang and James Kennedy, Galwegians. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Dave O'Connell, Highfield, battles Ewan Strang and James Kennedy, Galwegians. Picture: Jim Coughlan

In the top division, Cork Constitution are setting the pace on 38 points followed by champions, Lansdowne, on 33, with Clontarf on 31 and Garryowen on 25.

Con and Garryowen meet in the Munster Senior Cup final at Thomond Park on Saturday with the Temple Hill club bidding to wrestle the trophy back from the Limerick club.

Con's attacking strength is reflected in their six try-bonus points, the most by any of the clubs in division 1A, and they've the meanest defence in the country, too, conceding just 109 points.

They made it five wins on the spin in the 34-14 away win over bottom club, Terenure College, who travel to Leeside for the return fixture on the 19th, more in hope than expectation.

Midleton are another club happy enough with their lot as they are in close proximity of leaders Ballina in division 2C.

The east Cork club are second on 34 points, three behind the westerners with Bruff (32) and Omagh (29) also in the reckoning.

And with Midleton due to host Ballina and Omagh, as well as travelling to Bruff on the final day of the season, their fate is very much in their own hands.

Cork's other three clubs have survival on their minds as UCC, Dolphin and Sundays Well aim for improved results in their respective divisions.

Newcomers, College, certainly haven't enjoyed the rub of the green in their maiden season in 1A, winning just once, but they've picked up four losing bonuses to show how competitive they've been.

A bit of inexperience cost them games at the death against Con, Terenure and Garryowen and a change in fortune could make an appreciable difference on the resumption.

Dolphin's encouraging home form, four wins from five, has helped them move to sixth in division 2A, though it's tight.

They're only a point in front of Crescent and Blackrock and three clear of Nenagh though 11 ahead of basement side, Galwegians.

Neighbours, Sundays Well need a boost after losing their last five games in division 2B and the home tie with Skerries is huge, having lost to them.

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