GARRYOWEN’S hopes of avoiding the drop from Division 1A of the AIL faces a critical point this Saturday when the ‘light blues’ host title-chasing Clontarf at Dooradoyle (2.30pm).
Garryowen have given themselves a decent shot at avoiding relegation from the top flight for the first time in their history after an excellent run of three wins in their last four games.
The Dooradoyle side remain bottom of the table, however, edged out of ninth place by Ballynahinch due to their superior points difference.
There are now just four rounds of fixtures to go in the top division with the side finishing bottom facing automatic relegation to 1B at the end of the regular season with the second-from-bottom placed side set for a relegation play-off clash with the team finishing second in 1B.
Garryowen’s opponents on Saturday, Clontarf, are second in the table, just four points off leaders Old Belvedere, but with a game in hand. Garryowen will also be hoping that neighbours Young Munster can do them a favour as the Clifford Park side face a trip to relegation-threatened Ballynahinch at Ballymacran Park.
Meanwhile, in Division 1B, fourth-placed UL-Bohs face a key fixture in their bid to remain genuine contenders in the promotion race. The Annacotty side travel to Galway to face second-placed Corinthians.
UL-Bohs will travel West in confidence following their dramatic derby victory over Shannon last weekend. Fifth-placed Shannon return to action with a difficult home fixture against table toppers Terenure College at Coonagh.
In Division 2A, both Bruff and Old Crescent are facing uphill battles if they are to maintain their league status. Basement side Bruff, with just one win from 13 league outings, host sixth-placed UCC at Kilballyowen Park. Second-from-bottom Old Crescent, with just three wins from their 13 outings, entertain Cashel at Rosbrien. Bruff trail Old Crescent by seven points and third-from-bottom Naas by 12 points.
The two bottom-placed sides in 2A face automatic relegation to 2B, while the club finishing third--from-bottom face a play-off.
In Division 2B, promotion-chasing Thomond host Midleton at Fitzgerald Park. Third-placed Thomond are one of three sides on 45 points. Mid-table Richmond travel to Skerries in the same division.