Garryowen continue to fly the Limerick flag in AIL

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A general view of a rugby ball. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
A general view of a rugby ball. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

There were four victories for Limerick sides as the All-Ireland League (AIL) returned from its Christmas break last week. Garryowen are second to Cork Con in Division 1A following a 40-14 victory over UCD in Dooradoyle. The win gives Conan Doyle’s men a five-point cushion over UCD in the table.

Garryowen had the bonus point in the bag five minutes into the second half with Diarmuid Barron going in for two tries, while Alex Wootton and Liam Coombes also crossed the white wash for the Light Blues.

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Bryan Fitzgerald added their fifth try and Wootton completed the rout with his second. Garryowen make the trip to UCC next time out.

Elsewhere in 1A, Young Munster fell to an 18-3 loss to runaway leaders Cork Con. It was the third defeat in as many games for the Cookies after losing out to Con in the Munster Senior Cup Final and in the last game in the league before the Christmas break.

Con held an 8-0 lead at the break thanks to a Brian Hayes try and a Jack Crowley penalty. The Con out half stretched that advantage to 11 points just after the hour, but Evan Cusack gave hope to the travelling side with a penalty of his own.

However, Con finished strong and Barry Galvin got in for their second try of the game in added time and Munster’s hopes of a bonus point evaporated. Young Munster now sit in seventh place in the table and welcome bottom of the table Ballynahinch to Tom Clifford Park. in their next game.

In Division 1B, Shannon impressed with a 31-13 bonus point victory over league leaders Highfield in Thomond Park. Tadhg Bennett’s side had a 17-10 advantage after converted tries from Jamie McGarry, Eathon Moloney and a penalty from the returning Jake Flannery.

McGarry crossed for his second in the second half and the bonus point win was confirmed late on with Ikem Ugwueru scoring in the corner. John Bateman added the conversion to seal an 18-point win. Shannon move into fifth and one point off the playoff places ahead of their trip to St Mary’s on January 25th.

In Division 2A, Old Crescent moved into the playoff spots with a hard fought away win against Buccaneers. All the points in their 12-10 victory came in an enthralling first half. Buccs hit the front with an early penalty, but Crescent responded on 22 minutes through a Lorcan Kavanagh try that went unconverted.

Buccaneers responded with a try of their own that was converted and saw them into a 10-5 advantage on the half-hour. Crescent held the lead at the break though thanks to a Val McDermott try and Maccon Casserly popped up with what proved to be the winning score with the conversion. Nenagh Ormond make the short trip to Rosbrien in Crescent’s next game.

Elsewhere in Division 2A, UL moved clear of the relegation spots and into seventh position after an exciting 28-24 win over Cashel at the University of Limerick’s 4G pitch. Darragh O’Grady went over for two tries in the first half to leave the game 14 points apiece at the break.

A penalty and converted try for Cashel saw them take the front in the second half, but scores from Alan Kiely and Jamie McNamara saw Bohs to the bonus point. Harry Byrne kicked four conversions in what was a vital win for Tom Hayes’ outfit. They make the trip to Dolphin in their next game.

In Division 2C, Bruff suffered a 10-point defeat to Tullamore in Spollanstown. The 13-3 loss means they drop to ninth in the table and are now just five points clear of bottom placed Midelton. Bruff play sixth place Clonmel in their next game at Kilballyowen Park.

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