Limerick clubs play for high stakes on final day of Ulster Bank League

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Limerick clubs play for high stakes on final day of Ulster Bank League

Shannon RFC's Tony Cusack charges through the Old Belvedere cover, with Conor Glynn in support, during their Ulster Bank League Division 1B fixture at Anglesea Road on Saturday last

SATURDAY is D-Day for Limerick’s Ulster Bank League clubs as the final round of regular season fixtures is down for decision.

In Division 1A, fourth-placed Garryowen are looking to tie down a place in the play-offs when hosting ninth-placed St Mary’s College at Dooradoyle, 2.30pm.

Conan Doyle’s ‘Light Blues’ hold a slender one-point lead over fifth-placed Clontarf, so the Limerick side need to match ‘Tarf’s result at home to Cork Con in terms of match points to guarantee a semi-final spot.

Also in 1A, sixth-placed Young Munster could still technically make the play-offs, but the Greenfields side would need to claim a bonus point win away to UCD and hope neither Garryowen nor Clontarf pick up a single match point from their weekend fixtures.

The two semi-finals are due to take place on the weekend of Saturday, April 28, with the Ulster Bank League decider scheduled for Sunday, May 6.

Meanwhile, in Division 1B, table toppers Shannon will be hoping to secure automatic promotion back to the top division for next season when hosting UCC on the back pitch at Thomond Park.

Leaders Shannon enjoy a one point lead over Ballynahinch and a two point advantage over third-placed Banbridge ahead of Saturday’s final series of fixtures.

The 1B winners will secure automatic promotion to Division 1A, while the sides finishing second, third and fourth in 1B will be involved in the promotion play-off series.

Also in Division 1B, UL-Bohemian, fresh from their weekend win at home to Naas, will be looking to move out of the relegation play-off position when travelling to Rifle Park to face Banbridge.

Ninth-placed UL-Bohs sit one point behind Old Wesley and three points adrift of Ballymena in the 1B table.

Ballymena host Old Wesley in Saturday’s final regular season fixture.

Should UL-Bohs remain second-from-bottom in the table on Saturday evening, then the Red, Red Robins will be involved in the relegation play-off series beginning the following weekend.

In, Old Crescent, who are already assured of promotion to 2A for next season as champions of 2B, complete their programme of regular season games with a home fixture against Rainey Old Boys.

Meanwhile, in Division 2C, second-placed Thomond trail leaders Sligo on points difference in the battle to secure the one automatic promotion spot up for grabs.

The two clubs go head to head in Sligo on Saturday, with the side finishing top set to play their Ulster Bank League rugby in 2B next season.

Thomond are already guaranteed of least a promotion play-off spot ahead of their final regular season game.

Also in Division 2C, eighth-placed Bruff will be looking to remain clear of the relegation play-off position when when making the long trip to promotion-chasing Omagh this Saturday.