Limerick clubs chase vital Ulster Bank League wins

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Limerick clubs chase vital Ulster Bank League wins

Shannon's Will Leonard on the charge in their Ulster Bank League Division 1B fixture with Old Belvedere

THE games continue to come thick and fast in the Ulster Bank League with the third series of fixtures down for decision this Saturday.

Limerick clubs will approach the games in more confidence mood than a week earlier as five local sides recorded wins in the second series of fixtures.

In Division 1B, in-form Shannon travel to Donnybrook in confident mood to take on basement side Old Wesley, 2.30pm.

Shannon made it two wins from two this season in the AIL when soundly beating Eddie O'Sullivan's Old Belvedere at Thomond Park on Saturday last.

The Parish side currently sit in second place in the 2B table, two points behind pacesetters Naas.

Shannon head coach, Tom Hayes said: Shannon head coach Tom Hayes said: “We are feeling positive at the minute. I think we have a good group of fellas here that are really trying to go and do something here.

”A lot of them have been through a bit of a tough time last year and dug themselves out of a hole. They have a bit more steel about them, I would hope anyway. 

”Things are going ok at the moment, but we are obviously going to hit some tough times too throughout this season.

”The game (v Old Belvedere) wasn’t fantastic by any means. It was nowhere near a classic, but we came out on the right side of the result which is a positive for us.”

Elsewhere in Division 1B, UL-Bohemian, who have taken just a single point from their two opening round defeats, host mid table Ballymena in a crucial fixture on the 4G rugby pitch at UL.

UL-Bohs had Munster out-half JJ Hanrahan in their starting line-up which lost away to Johne Murphy's Naas last weekend. The red Red Robins could have Munster scrum-half James Hart in their squad this weekend, as Conor Murray is set to return to the Munster squad for the visit of Cardiff to Thomond Park.

Meanwhile, in Division 1A, Conan Doyle's Garryowen, fresh from their hard fought bonus point home win over Buccaneers last weekend, host Clontarf in a mouth-watering fixture on Saturday last.

Garryowen's try scorers on the day included Munster hooker Mike Sherry. Like, Garryowen, Tarf have won one and lost one of their opening two fixtures.

Also in Division 1A, last season's semi-finalists Young Munster, will hope it's a case of third time lucky as the Clifford Park side face a trip to another winless side, Buccaneers this Saturday.

Both Munsters' and Buccs' have failed to pick up a single point from their opening two fixtures, with Munsters' sure to be still smarting from their weekend loss to Lansdowne to the Aviva Stadium.

Meanwhile, the three Limerick sides operating out of Division 2 will all be anxious to follow up on their weekend wins with further successes in round three of the league.

In Division 2B, high-flying Old Crescent make the long trip to Stevenson Park to face Dungannon. Crescent enjoyed a comprehensive seven-try, 45-26 bonus point win over MU Barnhall at Rosbrien last weekend.

Thomond, who recorded their first away win in the league in 910 days when defeating Tullamore 27-10 in Division 2C in Spollanstown on Saturday last, host Seapoint at Fitzgerald Park.

Also in 2C, Bruff, fresh from an impressive 33-21 away win over Bective Rangers, entertain Sligo at Kilballyowen Park.