Young Munster and Shannon to meet in marquee AIL derby

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Conor Phillips who scored the winning try to earn a dramatic 25-24 win for Young Munster over Dublin University

A TRADITION not like many others makes its return this weekend when Young Munster and Shannon meet in Division 1A of the All-Ireland League.

The keen Limerick rivals face off at Thomond Park on Saturday at 5pm on the back of victories last weekend. They have not met in the AIL since the 2018/19 season and a healthy crowd is expected on the main pitch this Saturday. 

The Cookies needed a late Conor Phillips try to earn a dramatic 25-24 win over Dublin University. Trinity took the lead early on, but an Evan Cusack penalty and Dan Walsh try saw the Limerick side go ahead. Cusack nailed the conversion and a penalty, either side of a second home try, to give Young Munster a 13-12 half time advantage.

Trinity hit the front in the second half with two tries to lead by 11 but there was a sting in the tail late on. A penalty try was then followed by the Phillips score after excellent work from Walsh and Jack Lyons to send him through for the score. The win keeps Munsters in fifth place, eight points off the playoff places.

Shannon prepared for the derby with an excellent bonus point home win over UCD at the back pitch in Thomond Park. Much of the damage was done by Pat O’Connor’s men in the opening half hour thanks to a penalty try and efforts from Kieran Ryan and Sean McCarthy.

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That saw Shannon into a 21-5 half time advantage but UCD came right back into the game with a couple of scores in the second half. Shannon managed to keep their nerve with a Jamie McGarry try sealing a bonus point win. Mike Cooke put the icing on the cake late on with an intercept try from inside his own half. The result sees Shannon leapfrog UCD in the table and into eighth place. 

Garryowen remain rooted to the bottom of Division 1A after they fell to a 47-28 defeat to Lansdowne at the Aviva Stadium back pitch. The Light Blues were 33-0 down at the break but two Brian Gleeson tries and one each for Jack Delaney and Harry Buttimer put some respectability on the scoreline.

The Dooradoyle side have now lost all seven of their games. Unless there is a major upturn in form, they face a very difficult few months. The welcome sixth placed Ballynahinch to Dooradoyle on Saturday. 

In Division 2A, both Old Crescent and UL Bohs were defeated. Crescent lost to Cashel 14-8 with Cathal Monaghan’s late try earning them a losing bonus point. Bohs went down to a 31-26 at home to Blackrock. 

The pair of losses keep Crescent and Bohs in eighth and tenth positions respectively. Crescent welcome Ballymena to Rosbrien on Saturday, while UL Bohs make the trip to take on Navan.

In Division 2C, Bruff moved into fifth after a 10-3 win over Sunday’s Well at Musgrave Park. They will be hoping to move into the playoff places this weekend when they welcome Clonmel to Kilballyowen Park.