YOUNG Munster eased their relegation worries in Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League, thanks to a dramatic 20-17 victory over UCD in Belfield on Saturday.
Munsters’ second successive win in the top flight has seen the Greenfields side move three points clear of the relegation play-off zone in 1A with just two rounds of regular season games to go.
Indeed such is the competitive nature of Division 1A that Young Munster are now also just two points off Cork Con who occupy the final semi-final spot in the Division. Young Munster’s two remaining AIL fixtures are at home to relegation-threatened St Mary’s on March 28 and at home to league leaders Lansdowne on the final day of the season.
In Division 1B, second-placed Garryowen maintained their strong promotion push thanks to a precious 17-5 victory away to Ballymena.
The ‘light blues’ who occupy the promotion play-off berth, are two points behind leaders Galwegians in the table, but five points clear of third-placed Dublin University.
Garryowen led 8-0 at half-time with a James McInerney try and a penalty goal from Jamie Gavin. Gavin went on to add three further penalties in the second half to ease the Limerick side to victory.
Shannon are all but safe in 1B after scoring a 26-14 bonus point win over fellow Limerick side UL-Bohemian at Thomond Park on Friday night.
Hugh Kelliher, Shane Mullally, Kelvin Brown and Richie Mullane scored the four Shannon tries, while the Annacotty side had tries from David Johnston and Adrian Enright.
The result leaves seventh-placed Shannon nine points clear of the drop zone with two games to go. However, eighth-placed UL-Bohs are just one points clear of the relegation zone as a result of this derby defeat.
In Division 2A, Thomond moved up to sixth place on the back of an excellent 39-10 bonus point win over Rainey Old Boys. In Division 2B, Bruff remain seventh in the table, despite scoring an excellent 31-12 bonus point win over Kanturk, while Old Crescent had to be satisfied with taking a losing bonus point from their 29-32 defeat to Greystones. Crescent had held a significant 24-5 lead at half-time.
Meanwhile, Richmond dropped back in the relegation places in 2B after suffering a 31-6 defeat to league winners Highfield at Canal Bank. Wind-assisted Richmond led 6-0 at the break, but the Cork side scored five second half tries to run out easy winners.