DIVISIONS 2A and 2B take a well earned break this weekend as only 1A and 1B have to go to the well once more. It’s the fourth week of an intense block of four games this weekend and the Limerick sides involved will be looking for one more win to close out the November period.
Ulster Bank League Division 1A
Sun-23-Nov 2.30pm Aviva Stadium
Lansdowne v Young Munster
THIS game takes place on Sunday, due to Ireland playing Australia in the final autumn international at the same arena. John Staunton’s men know that this is a huge game. With second placed Lansdowne having defeated Terenure last weekend, the Cookies know that a win here and the top of the table will become a three horse race.
Cementing their place in the playoff spot will be Young Munster’s aim, but they are up against an improving Mike Ruddock coached side.
Verdict: Lansdowne by a score.
Ulster Bank League Division 1B
Sat-22-Nov 2.30pm, Eaton Park
Ballymena v Shannon
THE home side, currently third, are looking to widen a gap between themselves and the chasing pack, which currently stands at 11 points. With five wins from 7, Ballymena are a formidable outfit. However, Shannon’s excellent win over UL Bohemians last weekend moved them from bottom to eighth.
Ian Sherwin’s side have a young, mobile pack and with O’Dea, Fitzgerald and Mullane as their back three, they are a match for anyone on their day. This could be a close one. If Shannon win, they are back in the hunt for promotion.
Sat-22-Nov 2.30pm, Gibson Park
Malone v Garryowen
GARRYOWEN’S win over Ballymena last weekend was inspired by the O’Mahony brothers. With one out injured this weekend, (Barry), the selection of the Munster team on Friday night against the Dragons could deprive Conan Doyle and Paul Neville of their biggest strike runner. The light blues are second and looking good to stay there.
Gibson Park is a tough place to go and Garryowen’s win here will be hard earned.
Sat-22-Nov 2.30pm, Thomond Park
UL Bohemians v Buccaneers,
NOVEMBER is a month that robins, the bird, normally thrive. The same cannot be said for the rugby variety from Thomond Park. Colm Tucker’s men have now lost five games on the bounce and to those looking at those results on paper, it would be fair enough to assume that UL Bohemians are in trouble.
For anyone who has seen their games however, they’ll know that six of their seven games have been one score differences.
Things may not be as bad as they seem, but this league is not one for sentiment. Wins are required from a side who seem to be struggling in confidence. This weekend, fourth placed Buccaneers arrive in town to add their weight to Bohs’ plight. This is a hard one to call, but five losses on the bounce does not look like ending this weekend.
by Justin Brady