Limerick’s seven AIL clubs chase opening day wins

Colm Kinsella, RugCo

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella, RugCo

Scott Deasy, from Lansdowne RFC, with the Ulster Bank League trophy and, from left, Ben Reilly, Clontarf, Josh Hrstich, Garryowen, Jonathan Slattery, Old Belvedere, James Blayney, Terenure, James Ryan, Cork Constitution, Paul Pritchard, Ballynahinch, Stephen Murphy, UCD, Ger Slattery, Young Munster and Jarleth Naughten, Galwegians,at the launch of the Ulster Bank League at the Aviva Stadium this week
LIMERICK’S seven senior clubs begin their quest for glory in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League this Saturday as the new season kicks-off.

LIMERICK’S seven senior clubs begin their quest for glory in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland League this Saturday as the new season kicks-off.

The League this season features five divisions of ten teams each, broken into Divisions 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B and 2C.

Last season’s beaten semi-finalists Young Munster and newly promoted Garryowen will compete in Division 1A. Limerick also has two representatives in 1B in the guise of Shannon and UL-Bohemian. Both clubs will be looking for an upturn in fortunes this term as bought were involved in relegation battles, albeit successful ones, last season.

2014-2015 Limerick Charity Cup winners secure their place in Division 2A at the end of last term. While there are no local sides in Division 2B, three Limerick sides will compete in the newly-formed 2C, Old Crescent, who have impressed in the Limerick Charity Cup, the traditional early season competition and Bruff.

Young Munster will be looking to avenge their semi-final defeat to Lansdowne from last season when the Anthony Mathison-coached side return to the Aviva Stadium to face the Dubliners in their first fixture of the new season on Saturday, 2.30pm.

Munsters’ lost out in agonising fashion in the dying moments of extra time in their dramatic play-off fixture with Lansdowne last season. Munsters’, who have reached the Limerick Charity Cup final with wins over Nenagh Ormond and UL-Bohemians will be anxious to get their season off to a good start. The Greenfields side face big local rivals Garryowen in a Division 1A derby clash on Friday, September 18 at 7.30pm.

Garryowen mark their return to Division 1A with a home fixture against Ballynahinch on Saturday at Dooradoyle, 2.30pm. Garryowen bounced straight back to the top flight following their excellent play-off win over St Mary’s College at Templeville Road.

In Division 1B, UL-Bohs host Old Wesley at Thomond Park, while Marcus Horan’s Shannon travel to Dubarry Park to take on Buccaneers. Both sides will be looking to make fast starts in the league to boost their chances of gaining promotion back to 1A. Elsewhere, on Saturday,Thomond have a home fixture with Cashel at Fitzgerald Park in 2A, while in 2C, Old Crescent travel to Tullamore and Bruff are on the road to Dundalk. All games kick-off at 2.30pm.