RESILIENT Garryowen have boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation from the AIL’s top flight for the first time in their history by recording a precious 12-8 home win over Cork Constitution at Dooradoyle.
Out-half Andrew O’Byrne kicked four priceless penalty goals as the ‘light blues’ collected their third win of the season. Garryowen enjoyed a slim 6-3 half-time lead. Basement side Garryowen and second-from-bottom Ballynahinch are now level on 17 points, with the Ulster side edging the Limerick side for ninth place by virtue of their superior points difference, There are now just four series of regular series fixtures to go.
Next up for Garryowen is another crucial home fixture against title-chasing Clontarf at Dooradoyle on Saturday next (2.30pm). And the Garryowen faithful will be hoping that neighbours Young Munster can also do them a favour as they take on Ballynahinch at Ballymacran Park also on Saturday next.
Fifth-placed Young Munster suffered a disappointing 34-12 defeat to leaders Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road. Munsters’ shipped four tries, responding with two of their own through Sean Rennison and Alan Cotter.
In the 1B local derby UL-Bohemian pipped Shannon 16-15 in a dramatic finish at Annacotty.
Visitors Shannon led their hosts 15-10 at half-time. Eoin Sweeney bagged the home side’s try, while Robbie Bourke added 11 points with the boot.
Shannon managed two tries through Tadhg Leader and Richie Mullane, while Tadhg Bennett added five points from place kicks. Fourth-placed UL-Bohs are now five points off second-placed Corinthians who occupy the promotion play-off spot in the table. Both sides have four games to play.
In Division 2A, bottom-placed Bruff and second-from-bottom Old Crescent remain rooted to the foot of the table and in grave danger of being relegated. Basement side Bruff picked up a losing bonus point in their 20-27 defeat to QUB at Kilballyowen Park. Old Crescent also had to be content with taking a losing bonus point from their 17-19 defeat to Ballymena at Rosbrien.
Old Crescent had a try from Will Hanly, while Gareth Quinn-McDonogh kicked three penalty goals with Paddy Sullivan adding a fourth. Bruff, who are in real danger of being relegation in the AIL for the second successive season, have won just one of their 13 fixtures to date this season.
In Division 2B, promotion-chasing Thomond recorded a precious 17-10 away victory over Armagh, while ninth-place Richmond recorded a valuable 15-10 away win over Suttonians.
Thomond, who scored three tries, led 10-3 at half-time. The win sees the Fitzgerald Park side occupy third place in the table, one of three sides level on 45 points.
Richmond trailed Suttonians by 10 points at half-time, but backed by a stiff breeze, the Limerick side managed 15 unanswered points in the second period through Stephen Clancy and Wayne Murphy, who also added five points with the boot.