The Energia AIL 1B also returns this weekend with a full set of fixtures.
The first half of the season was dominated by Highfield and Old Wesley with Highfield undefeated until Week 8 and Highfield undefeated until Week 9.
As Week 9 was the halfway point for the league and the clubs return with the reverse fixtures for Week 10 as shown below.
As with AIL 1A we have been keeping the statistics for AIL 1B and the full breakdown on the first half of the season can be viewed here.
There are three Ulster clubs in AIL 1B and for Banbridge and Malone it may be a case that the break came a touch early with both sides hitting a good spell in the latter weeks.
However, it probably didn’t come quickly enough for City of Armagh who will have welcomed the chance to regroup having hit some poor form after a good start to the season. The form indicator going into Week 10 is as follows.
Using the form indicator we predict the winners for the Week 10 fixtures.
Energia AIL 1B Week 10 Predictions
City of Armagh (33%) v Banbridge (100%)
Banbridge go into the second half of the season as the form team in the league having picked up maximum points over their last three games, including their convincing 43 – 18 win against Armagh in Week 9.
This run has positioned them as the main challengers to Highfield and Old Wesley but, the big question is, will they be able to sustain their run?
Armagh will be keen to bring Banns run to a halt, and start the second half of the season with the form they showed in the opening weeks, but they will have to find a substantial improvement if they are to overcome the stats which indicate that Banbridge are three times more likely to win this one.
Navan RFC (33%) v Naas (40%)
Despite losing the Week 9 fixture by three points Naas still remain marginal favourites for this one and they will be keen to lose the tag of the only side not to beat Navan, whose only win was in the last round.
Navan, on the other hand will see this as a chance to kick start a run as they strive to get off the bottom of the table.
It’ll be a tight one but Naas have shown that bit more over the season and they should be able to get their revenge.
Old Belvedere (20%) v St Mary’s College (53%)
Old Belvedere kick off the second half of the season as the team showing the worst form over the last three games having lost all three.
However, Belvo only lost two of those games by a point and the third by 6 points so it’s not going to take much to turn things around, the question is will they be able to do it against St Mary’s?
Mary’s have been consistent if unspectacular all season, relying on their forwards to grind out the wins. Belvo will need to match them up front if they are to get this one but Mary’s go into the game as clear favourites on recent form.
Old Wesley (60%) v Malone (67%)
Malone dished out Wesley’s first defeat in the last round and they go into this game as marginal favourites by virtue of that win.
Malone’s problem this season has been consistency and they have only been able to string together one instance of two successive wins over the first nine games. Old Wesley, on the other hand, were the models of consistency over their first eight games.
If there was a game primed to buck the statistics it’s this one and the savvy punter would probably back Old Wesley for the win. However we’re going to back the stats and look for a narrow win for Malone.
Shannon (33%) v Highfield (60%)
Highfield bounced back from their only defeat this season, in Week 8, with a 19 – 10 win against Shannon in Week 9 and they will be keen to stay top of the table with a double against the Limerick side.
Shannon, however, will take some comfort that it was a close match down in Cork and they will be happy to welcome their local rivals to Thomond. They should have no problem lifting themselves for this game, but, will it be enough to beat Highfield who have had a spectacular season in AIL 1B.
The stats still put Highfield as clear favourites and they should be heading down the road with the points come Saturday tea time.