SPORTS ROUND-UP: Tight at the top of Premier League

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Pike Rovers who drew with Fiarview Rangers in their top of the table clash at the weekend.

THERE’S no change in the standings at the top of the Limerick soccer premier league after the joint pacesetters Pike Rovers and Fairview Rangers (both on 25 points, with Pike having a game in hand) failed to produce a goal between them in a dour struggle at the weekend.

Both will be engaged in FAI Junior Cup action next Sunday, with Pike home to Peake Villa and Fairview away to Manulla. Elsewhere, Regional United travel to Coolraine while Summerville Rovers entertain Gorey Rangers.  All matches kick-off at 2pm.

The previous afternoon, Ballynanty Rovers are at Everton.

Horseracing:

PREPARATIONS are continuing at Limerick Racecourse for next month’s showpiece Mr Binman Christmas Racing Festival. 

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The highlight, on St Stephen’s Day, will be The Faugheen (Grade One) Novice Chase, while on Day Two it’s The Lyons of Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Doran’s Pride Grade 2 Novice Hurdle that will take centre-stage. 

“Racing at Limerick and Christmas go hand-in-hand,” commented Limerick General Manager Tom Rudd. 

“Aside from holding in the region of 30 top-class races on the track, there is so much else we are offering, the likes of family themed events, music, food, drinks, and a general feel-good atmosphere.”

Rugby:

AFTER a two-week break, action in the Energia All-Ireland League resumes on Saturday next. 

In the top-flight, Shannon host UCD at Thomond Park, Young Munster are at College Park to meet Dublin University, and Garryowen are away to Lansdowne on the back pitch of the Aviva Stadium.

In the All-Ireland Women’s League, UL Bohemians ended the regular season with a fifth win of the campaign.  

Breakaway first-half tries from Alana McInerney and teenage winger Clara Barrett – her fifth of the season – set them up for a 13-10 defeat of Galwegians at Annacotty, and with it qualification for the knockout stages.

GAA:

EXCITEMENT is building in Castlemahon in the run-up to Saturday’s historic hosting of the AIB Munster Junior Football semi-final against Fossa.

“Bring them on, oh just bring them on,” enthused Castlemahon manager William Lomasney. “We’re perceived to be in bonus territory, but what about it, this is an occasion that our club is looking forward to, possibly the biggest occasion for us ever in Castlemahon.”

Quaid Park in Coolyroe is expected to be packed for the visit of the Kerry champions, whose star performer is undoubtedly 23-year-old David Clifford, who landed an incredible 2-12 in their recent county final defeat of Listry. 

In the Intermediate Championship, Na Piarsaigh run-up against Ballina of Tipperary at Kilmallock’s Fitzgerald Park on Sunday. 

Greyhound Racing:

ACTION in the Matchbook Betting Exchange Irish St Leger Classic reaches its quarter-final stage at Limerick on Saturday next, opening race 7.40pm.

There remains plenty of local interest with the likes of second-round heat winners Gaston Pecas for Doon training duo Pat and Emma Buckley and Kilcolgan Zeus, from the Kennels of Neilus O’Connell in Ballysheedy.

Irish Derby winning handler Pat Guilfoyle and Graham Holland both registered doubles in front of a sizeable attendance at the weekend. 

Paul Hennessy’s Illnotbeback clocked the fastest time of the round, 29.51. 

This year’s Leger carries a winners’ prize of €30,000, with the final listed for December 10.