RESILIENT Young Munster remain on the fringes of contention for All-Ireland League Division 1 honours thanks to a gritty away win over Cork Constitution on a day Garryowen’s relegation worries intensified with a ninth straight defeat.
Plucky Young Munster climbed up to third place in the Division 1A table on the back of a fully-merited 16-10 win over Con’ at Temple Hill. However, there was bitter disappointment for relegation-threatened Garryowen at Dooradoyle as the ‘light blues’ shipped a 15-24 defeat at the hands of St Mary’s College. A combination of Garryowen defeat and Ballynahinch’s success over UCD leaves the ‘light blues’ 12 points off the relegation play-off place in the top flight and 15 points off safety with nine series of games to go.
In contrast, Young Munster made a winning start to 2014 with an impressive away win over recently crowned Munster Senior Cup winners, Cork Con’ at Temple Hill.
Munsters’ trailed 6-7 at half-time with Brian Haugh kicking two penalty goals for the Limerick side. However, John Staunton’s side upped their performance levels in the second half and a Colin Listonn try, converted by Haugh, who also landed a further penalty goal, ensured the Greenfields side recorded their sixth win of the campaign.
Munsters’ trail table toppers Clontarf by eight points. The sides are due to meet in a vital fixture in the next series of games at Clifford Park on January 25.
Bottom side Garryowen will travel to Dublin on the same afternoon to face holders Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium.
The Dooradoyle side trailed St Mary’s College 9-14 at half-time this Saturday. A Darragh Fanning try in the third quarter helped the Dublin side build a sizeable 24-12 lead. While Jamie Gavin kicked his fifth penalty of the afternoon in the 52nd minute for the home side, Garryowen lacked the penetration to notch the try they so desperately needed.
St Mary’s held on to record a nine-point win, despite having three players yellow-carded over the course of the match.
Meanwhile, in Division 1B, UL-Bohemian jumped up to third place and within touching distance of a promotion play-off spot, thanks to an impressive 24-21 bonus point away win over Blackrock College at Stradbrook.
UL-Bohs scored four tries through Eoin Sweeney, two, John Sutton and Sam Sterling. David Johnston added two conversions for the Red, Red Robins who trailed 14-5 at half-time.
Shannon were not in action as their fixture with Dublin University was played before Christmas and resulted in a win for the Limerick side.
The AIL action in both Divisions 2A and 2B resumes next weekend after the Christmas break.