THERE were three Limerick wins on a day of mixed luck for local sides in the Ulster Bank League on Saturday.
In Division 1A, second-placed Young Munster maintained their strong push for a semi-final play-off place with a dramatic 20-18 win over St Mary’s College at Tom Cllifford Park.
Meanwhile, also in the top flight, spirited Garryowen jumped up from eighth-place to fifth-place in the table, thanks to a nail-biting 17-16 victory over UCD at Dooradoyle.
A terrrific try from Munster centre Cian Bohane, with the final play of the game – his second of the fixture – brought Munsters’ level with their Dublin visitors at Greenfields.
Out-half Alan Tynan kept his nerve to slot the match-winning kick. The win keeps second-placed Munsters’ within seven points of leaders Lansdowne with now just five series of regular season fixtures to come.
Munsters’ remaining points came courtesy of two Tynan penalties and a conversion. The sides were level, 3-3, at half-time.
Garryowen, who were hovering just above the drop zone in 1A, after suffering their third successive defeat of 2017 a week ago, are breathing a little more easily after scoring a narrow home win over UCD.
Fifth-placed Garryowen trailed the students 6-13 at half-time, with the Light Blues points coming courtesy of scrum-half Neil Cronin.
UCD led 16-12 inside the final quarter, with Cronin adding two further penalties for the home side, when their Irish U-20 squad member Peader Collins struck for a crucial 62nd minute Garryowen try to snatch a precious victory.
Meanwhile there was disappointment for both Limerick sides in 1B. UL-Bohs’ were overtaken by second-placed Naas on points difference, after suffering a frustrating 39-27 defeat to leaders Buccaneers in their top-of-the-table clash on ULs 4G pitch.
The Red, Red Robins are now 16 points behind Buccs’ who scored five tries to pick up a bonus points.
UL-Bohs scored three tries through Harry Fleming, Rick McKenna and Rory White. McKenna also kicked two peanlties and three conversions.
Meanwhile, Shannon’s recent revival came to a half in Cork as Tom Hayes’ side shipped a disappointing 24-11 defeat to Dolphin at Musgrave Park.
Shannon sit in eighth in the table, two points ahead of second-from-bottom placed Galwegians and seven in front of basement side Dolphin.
Shannon trailed 11-12 at half-time with the Parish side’s points coming from a Nathan Randles try and two penalties from Ronan McKenna.
Shannon failed to score in the second half, however, as basement side Dolphin scored 12 unanswered points.
In Division 2B, Old Crescent suffered a disappointing 30-19 home defeat to table toppers Armagh at Rosbrien.
Crescent led 19-0 after a blistering start in the opening 25 minutes with a Brian Tuohy try, and three penalties, a drop goal and conversion from Shane O’Brien.
However, the home side failed to score again as the visitors racked up 30 points, including four tries, in an incredible turnaround. The Ulster had cut their deficit to 19-10 at half-time.
Old Crescent are fourth in the table as a result of their fifth defeat of the campaign.
Also in 2B, Thomond are cut adrift at the foot of the table, after shipping a 36-17 defeat away to seventh-placed Skerries.
Thomond trailed 5-19 at half-time, with their points coming from a try scored off a line-out maul. Thomond managed a second try off a maul in the 54th minute. but by then the Limerick side trailed 26-12.
In Division 2C, Bruff sit in fifth place in the table, following a gritty 13-10 away win over Tullamore.
Bruff scored two tries, from Mark Cosgrave and the decisive five-pointer from Cillian Rea which sealed an impressive victory.