THERE were five Limerick wins in the Ulster Bank League this Saturday with a full programme of games down for decision.
In Division 1A, Young Munster got back to winning ways, making it four wins in six games, when defeating Lansdowne 19-10 at Tom Clifford Park.
Second-placed Munsters’ moved within a point of leaders Lansdowne as a result of this success.
Munsters’ lead 16-10 at half-time, thanks to a Cian Bohane try and some excellent goal-kicking from Alan Tynan. The second half produced just one further score, a Munsters’ penalty, as the Dubliners were deprived of even a losing bonus point.
Meanwhile, Garryowen dropped to fifth place in the table after suffering a 27-17 defeat away to Terenure College, despite leading 10-0 at half-time.
The ‘Light Blues’ had first half tries from Neil Cronin and Hugh O’Brien-Cunningham. However, the concession of 27 unanswered points in the second period – with Garryowen’s cause not helped by picking up three yellow cards proved their undoing.
The Dooradoyle side did manage a late try from Andrew O’Byrne which Cronin converted.
UL-Bohs and Shannon recorded two timely wins in Division 1B.
Second-placed UL-Bohs drew level on points with Buccaneers at the top of the table – although the Annacotty side has a game more played – thanks to a precious 18-9 win away at UCC.
The Red, Red Robins led 8-3 at half-time at the Mardyke with a try from Cian Aherne and a James Lennon penalty.
The Annacotty side kept their opponents at arm’s length in the second half, with James Ryan crossing for a second try, while Lennon landed the conversion and another late penalty.
Meanwhile, Tom Hayes’ reign as Shannon head coach got off to a winning start when the Parish side jumped off the bottom of the Division 1B table, thanks to a hard-fought 17-14 win over Galwegians.
Shannon had suffered a 53-12 hammering by Galwegians in their previous league outcome in early December.
Shannon led 10-0 at half-time, thanks to a Jack Stafford try, and a conversion and penalty goal from the boot of Fionn McGibney.
A crucial second Shannon try scored by Keith Cavanagh, following a quick tap penalty, and McGibney’s conversion had the home side 17-7 to the good.
‘Wegians did manage a late converted try to set up a nervy finish to the game, but Shannon held on to record a precious victory.
Ninth-placed Shannon now sit two points ahead of bottom side Dolphin following their heavy defeat away to Ballynahinch.
In Division 2B, it was a case of bragging rights to promotion chasing Old Crescent as they defeated bottom side Thomond 27-12 at Fitzgerald Park.
Third-placed Crescent jumped into a 10-0 lead after as many minutes after the visitors were awarded a penalty try which Shane O’Brien converted, O’Brien had also kicked an earlier penalty goal.
The Rosbrien side led 17-5 at half-time as Larry Hanly struck for their second try, while Thomond managed a try of their own just before the break.
A second Thomond try, this time converted, on 50 minutes, left just five points be sides at 17-12.
However, another O’Brien penalty and try for Brendan Guilfoyle helped Crescent pull clear inside the final quarter.
Crescent sit third in the table, nine points behind leaders Armagh as a result of this derby win. Thomond are favourites for relegation as the bottom-placed ‘royal blues’ sit eight points adrift of second-from-bottom City of Derry.
In Division 2C, Bruff are up to fifth place in the table, following a 41-12 bonus point home win over Bangor at Kilballyowen Park.
Bruff led 22-0 at half-time with tries from Brian Cahill, Cillian Rea and John Hogan, while Tony Cahill added a penalty goal and two conversions.
Liam Treacy grabbed the bonus point try for Bruff on 47 minutes, while Graham Whelan and Willie Casey also touched down for the home side, with Davy O’Grady converting both scores.