AN EXCITING new chapter awaits Gearóid Prendergast following his Bank Holiday Weekend appointment as Munster Rugby’s Academy/Pathway Manager.
Widely respected across the rugby community, Prendergast holds a wealth of experience having coached numerous teams, working with All Ireland League (most recently AIL semi-finalists Young Munster) and junior club sides for over 15 years.
Peter Smyth, Irish Rugby Football Union’s Head of Elite Player Development, said: “Gearóid’s experiences in a multitude of environments will continue to help identify and develop future Provincial Talent Squad, National Talent Squad, Academy, and professional players for Munster and Ireland”.
On the club front, three Limerick sides are involved in important AIL fixtures across this coming weekend.
Shannon, who are skippered by Ronan Coffey, can ensure Division 1A survival with victory over Highfield at Thomond Park; Paul Clancy captained UL Bohemian are at home to Dungannon in the Division 2A play-off final and Bruff are away to Skerries in a bid for promotion from Division 2C at Holmpatrick.
All fixtures are on Saturday, with 2.30pm kick-offs.
TREATY United continue their SSE Airtricity First Division campaign with an attractive home outing against long-standing rivals Athlone Town at the Markets Field on Friday May 5 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Over the Bank Holiday Weekend, Treaty soundly beat both Kerry (4-0), at home, and Bray Wanderers (3-0), away.
At the Markets Field, the goals flowed through Success Edogun (2), Dean George, and Ben O’Riordan, while Willie Armshaw (2) and Enda Curran netted in Wicklow.
On the local front, the seemingly unassailable lead held by Pike Rovers at the top of the Premier League has been reduced to just a single point with only three matches remaining.
Pike suffered a setback when soundly beaten 3-0 by Ballynanty Rovers on Sunday. Adrian Power (2) and Tomás O’Connor were on the scoresheet. Elsewhere, second-placed Fairview Rangers kept up the pressure with a snug 4-0 win at Nenagh AFC, with the goals arriving through Shane Duggan (2), Jack Arra, and Conor Ellis, a live contender for league Top Scorer.
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, Pike are at Nenagh, Fairview entertain Aisling, and Balla are away to Regional United. All fixtures kick-off at 6.30pm.
The second of the Lawson Cup semi-finals is listed for Sunday (10.30am): Fairview Rangers versus Pike Rovers, with Aisling Annacotty awaiting the winners.
Dromore United and Glin Rovers will contest a novel Desmond Cup Final (May 20), following respective 1-0 weekend wins over Rathkeale and Feenagh.
FOR the third year on the trot, Limerick’s JP McManus has won the Champion Owner National Hunt Award on the final day of the Punchestown Festival.
Mr McManus landed his biggest racing success of the year as I Am Maximus took the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. He also enjoyed Grade 1 success with Saint Roi at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and with Gentleman De Mee at the Dublin Racing Festival.
Perceval Legallois, Ballybawn Belter, and Risk Belle were other notable winners in his famed hooped colours of South Liberties GAA.
Mr. McManus said: “It’s always an honour to win the champion owner title. Thanks goes to all the trainers, jockeys, and fantastic horses who gave my family and I some great days this season.”
It was his 20th occasion to collect the prize.
LIMERICK play Antrim in the All-Ireland Minor Shield Final at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, this Sunday (2.30pm).
Under the watchful eye of joint-managers Tony Dunne and Paul Neenan, the Shannonsiders have enjoyed a tremendous run, which included a terrific semi-final defeat of fancied Clare.
Limerick are captained by Lucy O’Brien of Newcastle West, and the side also includes Amy Mullins of Adare, Ciara Buckley (Monaleen), Ciara Dunne (Adare), Alex Russell (St Ailbe’s), Niamh Brennan (Ahane) and Monaleen’s Laura Southern.