Mixed luck for Limerick sides in AIL

LIMERICK sides experienced mixed luck on the opening weekend of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.

LIMERICK sides experienced mixed luck on the opening weekend of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League.

Young Munster and Shannon did record two precious home victories in Division 1A, but Garryowen suffered an opening day defeat at Dooradoyle.

Last season’s semi-finalists Munsters’ began with an exciting victory over holders Old Belvedere at a wet Tom Clifford Park. Ray Moloney’s try in the 79th minute, after Old Belvedere had failed to deal with Mike Prendergast’s box kick, proved crucial. Out-half Willie Staunton landed five penalty goals, a drop goal and conversion as Munsters’ fought back from 12-19 down with 20 minutes to go to record a deserved victory.

Shannon began life in the AIL under new head coach Stephen Keogh with an exciting 21-18 victory over Dolphin at Thomond Park.

The Cork side looked capable of collecting the points when jumping into a significant 15-3 lead after 20 minutes, thanks to two tries from their Limerick-born centre Eric Moloney.

However, Shannon, inspired by their impressive pack, rallied strongly and a fine personal haul of five penalty goals from Gareth Quinn McDonogh and two more from Ben Sargent helped the Limerick side edged the outcome.

Munster Senior Cup finalists Garryowen suffered a 9-13 defeat to St Mary’s College at Dooradoyle.

Mary’s led 6-3 at the end of a highly competitive opening period, but Garryowen’s Munster out-half Declan Cusack kicked his side level 11 minutes into the second period. The game turned in the visitors favour on 68 minutes when scrum-half Matt D’Arcy crossed for a fine try.

Limerick’s two representatives in Division 1B had to be content with picking up losing bonus points after suffering opening day defeats on the road. UL-Bohemians suffered a narrow 14-12 defeat to Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park despite producing a strong second half comeback. Ireland Under-20 international JJ Hanrahan kicked all of UL-Bohs’ points - three penalties and a drop - but ‘Quins, who led 11-3 at half-time, took the spoils. Munster Senior Cup finalists Bruff suffered a 17-11 reverse at the hands of Buccaneers at Dubarry Park.

Despite a try from Andrew Cashman and penalty goal from Tony Cahill, Bruff trailed 8-10 at half-time. Bruff took the lead at the start of the second half through another Cahill penalty, but a Conor Lavelle try turned the tide in Buccs’ favour.

In Division 2A, Old Crescent made an encouraging start after securing a 14-14 draw with Old Wesley at Donnybrook. Crescent host Midleton at Rosbrien this Saturday in their second fixture. Thomond made a losing start, however, going down on a 26-6 scoreline to DLSP at Kirwan Park. Next up for the royal blues is a home tie with Old Wesley at Fitzgerald Park on Saturday.

See this weekend’s print edition of the Limerick Leader for more coverage of the AIL

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.