Young Munster's Jack Harrington looks to make a break in their Ulster Bank League clash with Cork Con at Clifford Park last weekend
A NAIL-BITING afternoon awaits several Limerick sides this Saturday as the final round of regular season fixtures in the Ulster Bank League are down for decision.
In Division 1A, Young Munster, already assured for a place in the play-offs will be hoping to secure home advantage in the semi-final by getting the better of already relegated Old Belvedere at Anglesea Road.
Munsters' are one of three teams locked at the top of Division 1A on 53 points, with fourth-placed Cork Con just one point behind in fourth. Any two of the two sides can secure a two two finish and with it home advantage in the play-offs later this month.
Young Munster head into Saturday's game on the back of a gritty 3-0 victory over Cork Constitution at Tom Clifford Park on Saturday last. Munsters' have now won five of their last eight top flight league fixtures.
Saturday's opponents Old Belvedere have lost seven of their last eight fixtures in 1A and are already consigned to playing their rugby in 1B next season.
Belvo's relegation was confirmed with their dramatic defeat to Garryowen at Dooradoyle on Saturday when the 'light blues' recovered from being 14-19 in arrears late on to pulling off a stunning 26-19 victory with two late tries.
Garryowen's win ensured the eighth-placed side cannot face automatic relegation to 1B for next season, but Conan Doyle's men will be looking to avoid being involved in a relegation play-off.
Garryowen's final fixture of the regular season is a difficult assignment against table toppers Lansdowne on the back pitch at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Four sides are involved in a dogfight to avoid finishing in the relegation play-off position. Three of the teams, Garryowen, Dublin University and Terenure College are locked together on 35 points, with Dublin University currently in ninth by virtue of their inferior points difference. Sixth-placed St Mary's College, just one point ahead of their other three sides, are also involved in the battle for survival.
While Garryowen face a trip to Lansdowne, two more of the relegation-threatened sides, Dublin University and Terenure College come face-to-face at College Park, while St Mary's College are on the road to Cork to face a Con side looking to secure home advantage in the play-offs.
The two Limerick sides playing in Division 1B also have plenty to pay for this weekend.
Second-placed UL-Bohs will be looking to secure home advantage in the promotion play-offs by defeating relegation-threatened Dolphin on the 4G rugby pitch at UL. UL-Bohs are two points clear of third-placed Naas ahead of their date with ninth placed Dolphin.
Also in Division 1B, seventh-placed Shannon, who have avoided automatic relegation following their bonus point loss to leaders Buccaneers, need a point from their final regular season fixture away to eighth-placed Ballymena to ensure their survival in 1B for next season.
In Division 2B, Old Crescent, already assured of a promotion play-off place travel to leaders Greystones who will be looking to secure automatic promotion. Also in 2B relegated Thomond host Wanderers, while in 2C, Bruff entertain Boyne at Kilballyowen Park.