Ulster Bank League Review


By Stephen Falvey

Only one of the four Limerick sides in action last weekend  in the top two tiers of the league managed a victory. The high-flying Young Munster were brought back to earth after a loss to Lansdowne at the Aviva. Despite the bonus point being secured by the Dubliners, Munster’s never gave up and ran them close at times. They had a purple patch midway through the second half when Lansdowne were reduced to thirteen men and nearly went level before Lansdowne were back to full numbers and closed out a 28-21 win.

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Garryowen were the only Limerick side to win this weekend after a hard fought victory away to Malone.  They raced into an early lead thanks to two tries from Alex Wootton and led 10-7 at the interval. Despite the hosts scoring another try, two penalties from the boot of Jamie Gavin were enough to see the ” Light Blues ” to another precious victory. Despite this win, they still drop to third in the table as Ballymena secured a bonus point victory over Shannon.

Shannon now drop to ninth after Ballymena claimed a resounding 43-15 victory at Eaton Park The Limerick side had to play 70 minutes of the game with 14 men after one of their players was red-carded in the 10th minute. Ballymena led 7-0 at that stage and the Ulster side, who led 14-3 at half-time, scored six tries in all. Shannon scored two tries of their own through David O’Donovan and Lee Nicholas just before full-time. Shannon, who have won two of their eight AIL fixtures to date, are second-from-bottom in the table, three points ahead of basement side Belfast Harlequins. There is now a big chance of the shannonsiders being dragged into a relegation battle unless form picks up fairly soon.

U.L Bohemians had to be satisfied with a losing bonus point to Buccaneers at home in Thomond Park. This was their sixth successive loss in 1B  but they leapfrogged  neighbours Shannon into eight with this result.  The visitors led 9-3 at the end of a competitive opening period. a quick try after the interval from the visitors left Bohs facing a tough uphill task. However, a Rory Whyte try and eight points from the boot of Shane Airey helped the Annacotty side into a narrow 16-14 lead. Bohs hearts were broken when buccaneers scored a last gasp try with the last play of the game to snatch the win.