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Weekend Preview
5 May 2009, 2:52 pm
By Leonard Allen
The curtain comes down on the 2008/09 rugby season this weekend with all three A.I.B. sponsored All Ireland League divisional finals down for decision in Limerick on Saturday.
Shannon take on Clontarf in the Division 1 final at Thomond Park with a 4:00 p.m. kick-off. The Limerick side will be seeking their ninth crown and a chance of avenging their narrow 8-6 defeat against the same opposition at Coonagh last December. The Dublin side are appearing in their third A.I.L. decider and they will want to avenge their defeat in 2006 encounter by the same opposition. Clontarf will also be aiming to bridge a nine-year gap and emulate St. Mary's College as only the second Club form the Capital to have won the All Ireland League title.

The finals of the second and third tiers of the A.I.L. form part of a double header across town in Dooradoyle.

At midday Corinthians and Old Wesley go head to head in the Division 3 decider and the Galway side who finished the group stages of the campaign in pole position will be seeking to avenge their 16-11 defeat by 'Wesley at Donnybrook last October.

At 2:00 p.m. U.C.C. take on Ballynahinch in the Division 2 decider and both sides will be playing top flight rugby next season for the first time in their respective histories. The County Down side, who are aiming to win their fourth major trophy having won the Ulster League and Cup double and the All Ireland Cup and have had a hectic schedule in recent weeks They secured their place in this final with a 29-13 home win over Lansdowne last Monday and will be seeking revenge for their 21-9 defeat by the Cork students on their visit to Leeside in January.
The Cork side who won this trophy last season will be anxious to retain it and it should be a very close contest.

The only Junior game this weekend is the Martin O'Sullivan Cup decider between Castleisland and Waterford City at The Showgrounds in Fermoy. This is the final opportunity for either side to complete their season with silverware. The Kerry side, who missed out on promotion as they were defeated 6-3 at home by eventual champions Galbally in the Munster Junior League Division 3 semi final, will see a victory in this final as the first step on the road to restoring their Club to former glories. Waterford City meanwhile had an indifferent League campaign which yielded three victories and saw them finish in fifth position in their section and this would be a welcome boost to the club to win some silverware.


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