Fineen Wycherley, Young Munster, is tackled by Ben Reilly, Clontarf, in their Ulster Bank League 1A clash at Clifford Park on Saturday
THERE were four Limerick wins on a mixed day results wise for local clubs in the Ulster Bank League.
In Division 1A, Garryowen maintained their excellent recent run when moving up to second place in the table thanks to a thrilling 37-28 bonus point win over Dublin University at College Park.
Seventh-placed Young Munster endured a hugely frustrating day in the top flight, however, suffering a bitterly disappointing 23-22 home defeat to Clontarf at Greenfields. Munsters’ were left to rue their inability to make the most of their scoring opportunitites as ‘Tarf won the game at the death, thanks to a penalty goal with last kick of the match from replacement Conor Kelly.
Meanwhile, in Division 1B, leaders Shannon got back to winning ways with an impressive 27-15 bonus point, home victory over Ballymena at Thomond Park. Shannon, who had their six-game winning start to the campaign ended by Naas last time out, enjoy a four-point lead over second-placed Ballynahinch.
Also in 1B, ninth-placed UL-Bohemian eased their relegation fears with a priceless 13-6 victory away to basement side Dolphin. The success lifted UL-Bohs out of the relegation zone and into eighth-place in the table.
In Division 2B, high-flying Old Crescent extended their winning start to the season when recording a hard fought 29-27 bonus point victory over basement side Belfast Harlequins.
Leaders Crescent sit four points clear of second-placed Rainey Old Boys.
In Division 2C, Thomond had to be satisfied with taking a losing bonus point from their 39-32 defeat at home to Omagh. However, that point helped keep the Fitzgerald Park side second in the table. Sixth-placed Bruff were down 21-0 to Malahide in Dublin.
Garryowen scored five tries in their nine-point victory over Dublin University which leaves them 10 points behind top flight leaders Lansdowne who have now won each of their eight 1A fixtures.
Winger Liam Coombes bagged a hat-trick of tries, including two in the first half as the Dooradoye side built a useful 20-7 half-time lead. Full-back David Johnston also dotted down in that opening period.
Coombes completed his hat-trick of tries in the 52nd minute, while a fifth Garryowen try from James McInerney three minutes later helped seal the win. Scrum-half Neil Cronin also chipped in with 12 valuable points with the boot.
Next up for Garryowen is their back-to-back AIL fixtures with Cork Constitution before the great rivals face-off in the Munster Senior Cup semi-final.
After trailing 15-0 to a clinical Clontarf side inside the opening 27 minutes, Young Munster hit back to lead 19-15 six minutes into the second half at Greenfields with tries from Daniel Walsh and two by hooker Ger Slattery off well-executed mauls..
‘Tarf replied with a third try to lead 20-19 with a quarter of the game remaining. Alan Tynan’s 76th minute penalty goal looked to have won the game for Munsters’, before replacement Conor Kelly claimed the win for the Dubliners with his last gasp penalty.
Munsters’, who meet Terenure College in back-to-back home and away fixtures, now sit eight points off the top four play-off places in the table.
Meanwhile, leaders Shannon made it seven wins from eight, when running in four tries in their bonus point win over ninth-placed Ballymena.
Shannon led 8-0 at half-time. Tom Hayes’ side had tries from Kelvin Brown, Keith Kavanagh, Conor Fitzgerald and Jack O'Donnell. Fitzgerald also added a penalty goal and conversion.
Resilient UL-Bohs ended a four-game losing run when picking up the vital four points on offer in their basement battle with Dolphin,
UL-Bohs led 10-6 at half-time, thanks to a try from Harry Fleming, while Robbie Bourke added a conversion and penalty goal.
A second Bourke penalty gave the Limerick side some breathing space 20 minutes into the second half and Christy Neilan’s side maintained their seven-point advantage until full-time.
UL-Bohs are now seven points clear of bottom-placed Dolphin and one point ahead of ninth-placed Ballymena.
Meanwhile, 2B leaders Old Crescent are one of only two clubs in the Ulster Bank League to boast 100% records with eight wins from eight fixtures.
It took a 67th minute penalty goal from Ronan McKenna to edge the Rosbrien side to a narrow victory away to Belfast Harlequins.
Old Crescent led 19-10 at half-time with tries from Tavia Tali Toia, Val McDermott and Brendan Guilfoyle. When Darragh O’Brien bagged the bonus point try on 43rd minute, converted by McKenna the Limerick side’s lead was out to 26-10.
However, a run of 17 unanswered points from ‘Quins, including two tries, has the home side in front ,until McKenna’s late penalty wrestled the points back for the visitors.
In Division 2C, Thomond remain second in the table as they picked up two bonus points in their 39-32 home defeat against Omagh.
Thomond led 25-13 at half-time, thanks to tries from Ger Finnucane, David O’Halloran and Darragh O’Neill, to bring his tally for the season to 10. Evan Cusack kicked the remaining points.
Cusack bagged the bonus point try for the home side after 56 minutes with the conversion making it 32-20.
However, Omagh racked up 19 unanswered points in the final quarter to secure an exciting victory.
It was a disappointing day for Bruff in 2C as the Kilballyowen Park side fell to a 21-point defeat in Malahide and failed to register to score over the 80 minutes.
Malahide, who led 7-0 at half-time, scored three tries in all. Bruff now sit in sixth place in the table, 10 points behind leaders Sligo.