AIL Rugby: Ex-Cork minor and Nemo footballer Patrick Campell shines

Mark Woods previews the All Ireland League action featuring Cork rugby sides this weekend
AIL Rugby: Ex-Cork minor and Nemo footballer Patrick Campell shines

Young Munster's Patrick Campbell is tackled by Yasser Omar of Ballynahinch RFC, who won a minor All-Ireland with Cork in 2019. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

CORK Constitution aim to get back to winning ways against old rivals Young Munster at Temple Hill, tomorrow, at 2.30pm.

It’s the second round of fixtures in the Energia All-Ireland League and this is the stand-out tie in Division 1A.

Experienced half-backs Duncan Williams and Aidan Moynihan directed an exciting looking back division featuring Alex McHenry at centre and Sean French on the right wing.

And they sprung Luke Cahill from the bench, the former number eight returning from a stint in Australia.

Munsters collected a bonus point from their 27-9 win over Ballynahinch with a team that included Cork All-Ireland minor football winner in 2019, Patrick Campbell, at full-back.

The former PBC student was a try-scorer in a Munster Development team’s victory over their Ulster equivalent last month, when Con’s Forde was also selected.

Munster’s Patrick Campbell. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Munster’s Patrick Campbell. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The Limerick visitors tasted victory over their hosts on two occasions in the Munster Senior Cup, but in the last league season, Con claimed the points in back-to-back games.

They edged a typical closely-fought encounter 16-15 at Clifford Park before winning the home tie 18-3, when Billy Crowley, full-back last week, was one of the try-scorers.

It’s a game full of promise with precious little expected between the sides and the outcome is likely to be still in the balance entering the closing stages.

There’s another Cork-Limerick encounter in the same division with Garryowen hosting UCC at Dooradoyle.

A young and inexperienced College side learned some lessons in the loss to Terenure College last weekend and they meet a Garryowen side fresh from a 35-10 away win over Trinity College.

Skibbereen speedster Liam Coombes helped himself to a couple of tries in a bonus-point win for the light blues.

In Division 1B Highfield head to Navan keen to back-up last week’s 21-17 win over St Mary’s, when new out-half James Taylor contributed 11 points.

The former College number 10 crossed for his first league try in Field colours and converted the other tries from Darragh Fitzgerald and Eddie Earle.

The experience of Miah Cronin and Fintan O’Sullivan in the forwards will be important against a Navan side attempting to bounce back from last week’s 30-17 defeat by Malone in Belfast.

The division is shaping up to be highly competitive once again as none of last week’s winners managed try bonus points and three of the losing sides managed to be within seven points at the final whistle for their losing bonus.

Dolphin play their first home game in Division 2A under new coach Brian Scott’s direction, when Rainey Old Boys make the long trip south to play on the 4G pitch at Musgrave Park.

New Dolphin coach Brian Scott takes charge of his first home AIL game tomorrow. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
New Dolphin coach Brian Scott takes charge of his first home AIL game tomorrow. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

The Cork club received a timely shot of confidence in reversing a recent Munster Cup defeat by UL Bohs, winning 20-6 on the road last week thanks to a couple of conversions from Daryl Foley, who also kicked two penalties.

Brian O’Mahony and Rob Reardon were Dolphin’s try scorers in a side, which kept their try-line intact and conceded just a couple of penalties.

The Magherafelt visitors also began on a winning note, outscoring Old Crescent 24-17, suggesting Dolphin’s defence will be asked more questions again.

Two teams, Queens University and MU Barnhall, collected maximum points to sit first and second in a group, where bonus points are likely to be significant.

There’s an early-season derby between Midleton and Sunday’s Well in Division 2C at Towns Park with the pair looking for their first wins of the new campaign.

Midleton found Enniscorthy too much of a handful a week ago, going down 39-17, and the east Cork club will be determined to show they’re better than the scoreline suggests.

The Well showed plenty of courage in forcing a last-gasp 17-17 draw with Clonmel.

Tries from Josh Featherstone, Cormac Kelleher, and Evan O’Connell and an Eoin Geary conversion helped salvage an important pair of points for the Cork club.

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