Limerick rugby clubs set for final third of AIL season  

Limerick rugby clubs set for final third of AIL season  

THE final third of the Energia All-Ireland League regular season kicks off this Saturday with Limerick’s six senior clubs facing crucial fixtures.

In Division 1A, high-flying Garryowen, fresh from their dramatic, last gasp win over Terenure College, face the trip to Dublin to take on fifth-placed Clontarf at Castle Avenue.

Garryowen currently sit in second place in the table, a full 12 points clear of ‘Tarf in the battle to secure a top four play-off spot. The ‘Light Blues’ also enjoy a seven point advantage over third-placed UCD in the race to secure home advantage in the play-offs.

Also in Division 1A, Young Munster, who also harbour ambitions of making the play-offs, host fourth-placed Lansdowne at Tom Clifford Park.

This is a crucial fixture for the sixth-placed Greenfields club if they are to maintain their hopes of securing a play-off place.

Elsewhere on Saturday, in Division 1B, promotion-chasing Shannon host Naas on the back pitch at Thomond Park.

Shannon, fresh from their weekend win away to Old Wesley, sit third in the 1B table, a point behind second-placed Wesley.

Elsewhere, in Division 2A, Old Crescent host Rainey Old Boys at Rosbrien, while UL-Bohemian entertain Buccaneers at UL North Campus.

In Division 2C, Bruff host Omagh at Kilballyowen Park.

Full-back Jamie Heuston delighted the Dooradoyle faithful on Saturday with a last-gasp drop goal in Garryowen’s hard-fought 8-5 defeat of Terenure College in Division 1A.

It has been a fortnight to remember for full-back Heuston who played his part in the Ireland Club XV’s 2-0 series win over Scotland, while he was also involved in the Ireland Police team’s 52-31 victory over their Welsh counterparts in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Saturday’s Division 1A clash was switched to Garryowen’s all-weather pitch given the strong winds and heavy rain.

Munster winger Alex Wootton showed his finishing ability out wide to bring Garryowen level at 5-5 at the end of the third quarter.

Fresh from captaining the Ireland Club team to last week’s Dalriada Cup success, Alan Kennedy drove Young Munster to a deserved 21-9 victory over second from bottom Dublin University.

Kennedy scored one of Munsters’ three tries, while Sean Rigney and Luke Fitzgerald also dotted down. Evan Cusack converted all three.

In Division 1B, a penalty try late on helped Shannon pick up the four precious league points on offer in a 17-10 win over Old Wesley.

The sides were tied 7-7 at half-time, with Shannon's points coming courtesy of a try from Nathan Randles, which was converted by Jake Flannery.

A 67th minute penalty from Ben Daly hauled Shannon level after Wesley had edged into a 10-7 lead.

The drama wasn’t done yet as late Shannon pressure was rewarded with that decisive penalty try.

In Division 2A last weekend, Old Crescent took a losing bonus point from a 7-0 defeat to Ballymena in very wet conditions in Eaton Park.

Promotion-chasing Crescent sit third in the table, two points behind of Cashel ahead of their home game with Rainey Old Boys.

Also in 2A, UL-Bohemian suffered their first loss at home since October when going down 12-25 at the hands of leaders MU Barnhall.

Darragh O’Grady and Jamie Shanahan scored the UL-Bohs tries, while Harry Byrne added a conversion.

In Division 2C, eighth-placed Bruff had to be content with taking a losing bonus point from their narrow 8-3 defeat to Sundays Well at Musgrave Park.

Bruff sit just one place and one point clear of the relegation play-off position.

For more see #LLSport on social media.

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