BY DENIS HURLEY
THERE is a return to action for all three West Cork sides in Division 1 of the Munster Junior League this weekend, with Bandon having an outside chance of taking top spot.
Last Saturday saw just four games played in the 14-team division, with none of Bandon, Skibbereen or Clonakilty involved, but all three are scheduled to play on Sunday.
Last year’s Division 2 champions Bandon currently lie in second place, five points behind Clonmel, and they will face a tough test at home to Kilfeacle and District, who are fifth.
Were Bandon to win with a bonus point against the Tipperary side, who come in off the back of a draw with St Senan’s and a loss before that against Clanwilliam, then they would move to 36 points, where Clonmel now reside.
The leaders are also at home, but their opponents are Limerick’s Richmond, who are in third place, just a point behind Bandon, and eager to keep their title hopes alive too.
Having beaten Old Christians and Galbally in their last two games, Skibbereen will go in search of a third successive win as they make the journey to Newcastle West. The Limerick side are in tenth place on 15 points but they could leapfrog Skibb – who are on 18 – with a win.
If sixth-placed Skibb were to emerge victorious, though, then Clonakilty could do them a favour by taking points off Clanwilliam, who are in fifth. Clon are second from bottom at the moment on 12 points, two ahead of St Mary’s, but a much-needed win could shoot them up the table.
While Clon’s only win was the 32-0 victory over Muskerry in October, their last outing was a narrow 11-8 defeat to St Senan’s, having drawn 18-18 each with Newcastle West in the game preceding that.
• Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong – whose mother Margaret is from Whiddy Island and who has relations on the island – made his Ireland Six Nations debut off the bench in last Sunday’s 16-16 draw against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. It was the 23-year-old’s fourth cap for Ireland. Ireland are away to France this Saturday evening in the Stade de France, at 3.25pm. France beat Italy in their first game last weekend, 23-21.