Cookies edge closer to All-Ireland league playoffs

Evan Cusack was on target from the kicking tee for Young Munsters.

THE ALL-IRELAND League’s last round of fixtures before Christmas fell foul to the weather last weekend with three games involving Limerick teams being cancelled. However, Young Munster, Garryowen, and Old Crescent’s games went ahead with two victories coming from the three games.

Young Munster kept up their recent good form with a 24-18 home win over top of the Division 1A table Terenure. The Dublin side had won all eight of their games so far this season but came unstuck in tough conditions at Tom Clifford Park.

Terenure were 12-3 up at the break with Limerick’s Luke Clohessy crossing for the league leaders. Munsters were soon back into the contest by virtue of a Dan Walsh try and an Evan Cusack conversion.

A Terenure penalty saw them go five clear but a converted Paulo Leleisuao try put the Cookies two points to the good. Things got even better for the home side when Dan Goggin’s kick through was seized upon by Conor Hayes and Shay McCarthy was on-hand to provide the finishing touch. 

Cusack nailed the conversion to put Young Munster 24-15 up but a late Caolan Dooley penalty saw Terenure earn a losing bonus point and stay top of 1A at Christmas. Gearoid Prendergast’s side remain in fifth place, one point off the playoff places. They restart their season with the return fixture against Terenure on January 14.

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Elsewhere in 1A, Garryowen remain without a win this season following 36-10 defeat to Clontarf at Castle Avenue’s 4G pitch. It means that the Light Blues will stay rooted to the bottom of the table with half of the season’s games played.

Garryowen were well in the game at half time as they were trailing by just 12-10 with a Johnny Keane try and five points from the boot of Jack Delaney accounting for their scoring total. However, Clontarf scored 24 unanswered second half points to earn a comfortable victory.

To say that it’s been a frustrating first half of the season for the Dooradoyle outfit would be a major understatement. The famous Limerick club are in real danger of dropping out of the top tier unless there is a major change of form and fortunes in the new year.

Shannon’s trip to Lansdowne in 1A was a victim of the inclement weather and has been refixed for this weekend at the Aviva Stadium back pitch. Pat O’Connor’s charges are second from bottom in the table but a win over Lansdowne will see them leapfrog their hosts into eighth place. 

In Division 2A, Old Crescent pulled out an impressive 31-28 win over Dolphin at Musgrave Park. The win sees Crescent into sixth place and back in the playoff hunt heading into the Christmas break.

Crescent came back from a 14-7 half time deficit to earn the win thanks to a Ronan McKenna’s try. The same man added the extras to seal the stunning victory. The game between UL Bohs and MU Barnhall was postponed and re-fixed for January 7. In 2C, Bruff’s game with Midleton was victim of the weather and is also refixed for the same date.