Limerick's AIL clubs look to build on first third of season

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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sport@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's AIL clubs look to build on first third of season

Action from Shannon v Dublin University last weekend in Dublin

WITH one third of the All-Ireland League regular season now completed, Limerick’s seven senior clubs chase further vital points this weekend.

In Division 1A, Limerick’s best-placed side Shannon host Lansdowne on Thomond Park’s back pitch this Saturday, 2.30pm.

On the same afternoon, at Clifford Park, Young Munster will look to get back to winning ways when hosting UCD.

Also on Saturday afternoon, Garryowen, fresh from their crucial derby win over Young Munster at Dooradoyle on Friday night, face a trip to Dublin to take on basement side Terenure College at Lakelands, 2.30pm.

The AIL action in Division 2A involving local clubs kicks-off on Friday night when Old Crescent host Nenagh Ormond at Rosbrien, 8pm.

Crescent lie eighth in the table, following their precious 13-12 win away to Galwegians in their last outing.

Also on Friday night in 2A, UL-Bohemian travel to Spafield to take on Cashel RFC. UL-Bohs moved up to fifth-place in the Division 2A table on the back of their impressive 36-24 bonus point win over QUB last time out.

In Division 2C on Saturday, Bruff host Omagh at Kilballyowen Park, while second-from-bottom Thomond make the long trip to Judge’s Road to take on City of Derry.

In-form Bruff have won five of their six AIL fixtures to date this season.

Shannon remain the highest-placed local side in 1A, despite their 31-19 defeat to an impressive Dublin University side at College Park last weekend.

Tom Hayes’ Shannon sit in fifth place, 10 points off leaders Clontarf, but only two points off Dublin University who occupy the last of the semi-final play-off places.

Garryowen ended a three game losing run in the top flight when overcoming Young Munster 32-26 at Dooradoyle on Friday night.

The win saw the ‘Light Blues’ jump above Munsters’ in the 1A table and into seventh position.

Afterwards Garryowen head coach Conan Doyle said: “We couldn’t afford to go four games without a win. We had to get the win against Munsters’ and we will be targeting the next three games in December as well.

“We have Terenure College away next weekend and that has always been a tough fixture for us for the past few years.

“We can take a lot out of last Friday night’s game, a lot of good things and a lot of bad things. Hopefully, we can bring the momentum of the derby win into next weekend. 

“Having lost three games already we cannot afford to be losing any games easily, so we will be targeting them all.

“After Terenure, we have another Limerick derby against Shannon and then UCC. It will be our first league meeting against them in a long time so, a lot of interesting games ahead.”

Friday night’s defeat might have dented Young Munster’s play-off hopes as the Clifford Park side slip seven points off the play-off places. However, head coach Gearóid Prendergast insists that it is still early stages in the regular season.

Gearóid Prendergast: “It is a bit of a blow (to top four hopes), but we have a long way to go.

“There are still 12 games left, so a lot of twists and turns. We certainly have to start getting points on the board, and it has to start next weekend against UCD at home. 

“We still have a long way to go and we have been down this road before and we have still finished in the top four.

“We have a tough three weeks ahead. After UCD, we have Cork Con away and then Clontarf at home, so a big three weeks.

“Even though we are coming off defeats to Lansdowne and Garryowen, there are a huge amount of positives to take from it as well.”