GARRYOWEN’S hopes of hauling themselves up the AIL Division 1A table face a critical stage this Saturday when they face fellow strugglers Ballynahinch at Ballymacarn Park.
Garryowen, ever present in the AIL’s top flight since its inception, currently prop up the table having lost all five of their League fixtures to date.
Ballynahinch are also yet to register a victory, but the Ulster side have managed to pick up four losing bonus points compared to Garryowen’s two.
With the bottom side facing automatic relegation to 1B next season and the second from bottom relying on winning a play-off to ensure their survival, Tom Tierney’s side will be desperate to record their first win of the campaign this Saturday.
St Mary’s College sit third-from-bottom on seven points and are seven points adrift of seventh-placed Lansdowne.
Garryowen go into Saturday’s game on the back of a much-needed ODM Munster Senior Cup semi-final victory over great rivals Shannon at Thomond Park on Friday night.
While Garryowen are looking to ease their relegation worries, in contrast Limerick’s other representatives in 1A, Young Munster, will be hoping to remain in touch with top flight pace-setters Clontarf by overcoming sixth-placed Dolphin at Tom Clifford Park.
Munster edged Garryowen 9-8 in their last outing in the AIL and last weekend overcame Highfield 27-18 in the semi-final of the ODM Cyril Fitzgerald Plate in Cork.
Despite losing two of their five AIL fixtures to date, Munsters’ are just three points behind leaders ‘Tarf.
This Saturday’s game marks the first of three successive weekends of fixtures in the AIL before the competition takes a break for Christmas.
In Division 1B, fourth-placed UL-Bohs will be looking to bounce back from their derby defeat to Shannon last time out when they host second-placed Corinthians at Annacotty.
UL-Bohs are nine points off pacesetters Terenure College who host an improving Shannon side at Lakelands Park.
There is also a full programme of games in Divisions 2A and 2B, with Old Crescent travelling to City of Derry and Bruff heading to Old Wesley in 2A.
Meanwhile, in 2B sixth-placed Thomond host Navan at Fitzgerald Park, while Richmond, in 11th, travel to ninth-placed Midleton.