Limerick's seven AIL clubs face crucial fixtures

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's seven AIL clubs face crucial fixtures

FRIDAY'S Ulster Bank League Division 1B derby meeting of Shannon and UL-Bohemian at Thomond Park (7.30pm) is the highlight of a full round of fixtures.

While promotion-chasing UL-Bohs sit second in the table, six points behind pacesetters Buccaneers despite their defeat to Naas last weekend, an improving Shannon side have boosted their survival hopes in 1B on the back of two successive league wins.

Tom Hayes' Shannon side picked up a maximum five-point haul in their 26-22 bonus point win over Old Wesley at Donnybrook on Saturday last.

The win helped Shannon move out of the drop zone, as the Parish side now lie seven points clear of basement side Dolphin and two points ahead of Galwegians.

Shannon will be hoping to avenge their frustrating 14-13 defeat to UL-Bohs' in their away Division 1B fixture at UL in November.

UL-Bohs' will still be smarting from their 24-27 defeat at home to Naas on Saturday. The Red, Red Robins had to make-do with taking a losing bonus point from a game in which they scored three tries. It was only their third defeat in 11 league fixtures this season.

Meanwhile, in Division 1A, second-placed Young Munster will be looking to build on their excellent bonus point win over local rivals Garryowen when hosting Terenure College at Tom Clifford Park on Saturday, 2.30pm.

Munsters' moved within a single point of leaders Lansdowne following Friday's derby win which was secured courtesy of a strong second half display.

Young Munster head coach, Gearoid Prendergast said: “We have Terenure next weekend and that is our focus now. There is a lot to look forward to, but it is just Terenure and nothing else.

“It is game by game now, there is still a bit to go in the regular season.”

Meanwhile, Garryowen, who dropped to sixth-placed in the Division 1A table, on the back of their defeat to Munsters', are on the road to Templeville Road to face relegation-threatened St Mary's College.

Garryowen head coach, Conan Doyle said: “There are still seven games left. Before Christmas there I think we lost three on the bounce and we were down in ninth. Then we won three in a row and we were up in fourth. It can swing around quickly.

“We just need to get ourselves right and get back to winning games.”

Meanwhile, there is also a full round of games in Division 2 this weekend. In Division 2B, third-placed Old Crescent face a trip to Judge's Road to take on second-from-bottom City of Derry on Saturday (12.30pm), while at the same time, bottom side Thomond entertain Armagh at Fitzgerald Park. In Division 2C Bruff host Kanturk on Friday at Kilballyowen Park, 7.30pm.