How Limerick's seven clubs fared on crucial day in AIL

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


How Limerick's seven clubs fared on crucial day in AIL

It was a disappointing Saturday for Limerick clubs in the All-Ireland League

LIMERICK sides recorded just one win on a black weekend for local clubs in the All-Ireland League.

Promotion-chasing Bruff in Division 2A were the only Limerick club to record a win in the third last series of regular season fixtures.

In Division 1A, Garryowen's hopes of making the top four play-offs were dented by a disappointing 29-12 home defeat to high-flying Clontarf.

The defeat sees Garryowen remain in fifth place in the top flight table, now sixth points behind fourth-placed Dublin University.

Also in 1A, Young Munster and Shannon are involved in a relegation battle following two defeats on Saturday.

Both sides did pick up losing bonus points, Munsters' in a 13-10 reverse at the hands of UCC, while Shannon succumbed 12-18 at home to improving Terenure College.

Ninth-placed Shannon sit in the relegation play-off position a point ahead of basement side Terenure. Munsters' lie in eighth spot in the table, just a point ahead of Shannon and two points behind UCC.

Munsters' host Shannon in a crucial penultimate round regular season fixture on Friday, April 5 at Clifford Park, 8pm.

Meanwhile, in Division 2A, UL-Bohemian are now eight points off the promotion play-off places with just two series of games to go following their 10-5 defeat away to Nenagh on Friday night.

Also in 2A, Old Crescent have fallen 10 points off the promotion play-off spots after suffering a narrow 15-14 defeat to Munster rivals Dolphin at Rosbrien.

In Division 2C, Bruff retained third-place in the table after scoring an impressive 31-5 bonus point win at home to Tullamore.

However, also in 2C, Thomond's relegation worries deepened with a 24-10 defeat away to Omagh at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields.

Garryowen trailed an impressive Clontarf side 0-14 at half-time in their Division 1A clash at Doordoyle. The visitors scored two converted tries in the opening half from Tony Ryan and Ivan Soroka.

The Light Blues', who had won three of their five previous AIL fixtures, fell further in arrears after the restart as 'Tarf out-half David Joyce kicked a penalty goal and then converted a Cian O'Donoghue try to help the Dubliners in a significant 24-0 lead. 

Garryowen did finally get some points on the board after an hour when Jamie Gavin darted over, with Jamie Heuston converting to reduce the 'Tarf lead to 24-7.

The Dooradoyle side, realistically only looking to rescue a losing bonus point, then struck for a second try through Tommy O'Hora to reduce the visitors lead to 24-12.

However, a further try for Tarf at the death saw the Dubliners run out deserved 29-12 winners.

Young Munster, with two wins from their three previous games prior to kick-off, led UCC 3-0 at half-time at the Mardyke, thanks to a penalty goal from Shane Airey.

Two penalty goals for the home side swung the momentum in their favour at 6-3.

However, a resilient Munsters' side hit back with a Luke Fitzgerald try, converted by Airey, helped them into a 10-6 lead with 10 minutes remaining.

Back came UCC, however, and a converted try soon after saw the students regain the initiative at 13-10. It proved to be the winning score.

UCC were boosted by the return of Munster Academy player Jack O’Sullivan, who makes his first start since a cruciate knee ligament injury sidelined him for last summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship.

Shannon were suffering their sixth successive defeat in Division 1A when losing out by six points to Terenure College in their lunchtime kick-off.

The home side trailed an improving 'Nure 7-10 at half-time. After the Dubliners built a 10-0 lead, Shannon hit back with a converted try as Ronan Coffey dotted down, with Ben Daly converting.

Shannon, who had beaten 'Nure 41-14 in their previous AIL meeting in Dublin last October, conceded a try and penalty goal to fall 18-7 in arrears. The Parish side did rescue a losing bonus point late on with a try late on from Aran Hehir.

Shannon's two remaining AIL fixtures are away to great rivals Young Munster on Friday, April 5 and at home to Cork Con eight days later.

In Division 2A on Saturday afternoon, Old Crescent led Dolphin 14-8 at half-time at Rosbrien.

After Dolphin had taken the lead with an unconverted try, Crescent responded in style and were awarded a penalty try after 20 minutes following a powerful surge from their scrum.

The home side went further in front on 35 minutes with a smashing second try scored by Paudie Monaghan. The touchdown was converted by Ronan McKenna for a 14-5 advantage.

A 37th minute penalty for the Cork side reduced the home side's advantage to six points at the break.

The only score of the second half - which proved decisive - arrived in the 76th minute when Dolphin struck for a converted try to seal a dramatic victory.

Crescent had to make-do with taking a losing bonus point from the fixture.

In Division 2A on Friday night, UL-Bohemian suffered a 10-5 defeat away to Nenagh Ormond, denting their promotion play-off hopes.

The North Tipp side held a 3-0 interval lead, with a converted try in the 53rd minute helping the home side into a 10-0 advantage.

UL-Bohs hit back with a try from Harry Fleming in the 66th minute to half the gap between the sides to five points. 

The Red, Red Robins were unable to overhaul their hosts in the final 10 minutes and had to make do with taking a losing bonus point from the fixture.

In Division 2C, promotion-chasing Bruff led visitors Tullamore 17-0 at half-time, after running in two tries in the opening period.

Cian Tierney and Neilus Keogh dotted down for Bruff, with the impressive Kevin McManus kicking a penalty goal and two conversions.

After the restart, Bruff added further tries from Davy O'Grady and Sean Darcy to secure a precious try bonus point.

Also in 2C, relegation-threatened Thomond suffered a 24-10 away defeat to Omagh.

Thomond made the best possible start, stunning their hosts with two early tries from Dean O'Brien and Mike Madden to lead 10-0 inside the opening 11 minutes.

However, the visitors failed to score again in the game, as the Ulster side stunned the Limerick side with four tries to pick up a bonus point.

Basement side Thomond are now eight points off ninth-placed Tullamore and eighth-placed Bangor with games quickly running out.