All Ireland League Roundup
22nd April 2023 By Leonard Allen
It was a mixed day for the Munster clubs in the men’s All Ireland League playoff semi-finals with four wins and three defeats.
Elsewhere, UL Bohemian lost out to Railway Union in their bid to win the Women’s All Ireland League Cup.
The All Ireland League Final will be a repeat of last season’s decider with holders Clontarf facing Terenure College in the Final on the 7th May, after victories over Young Munster and Cork Constitution.
Clontarf just edged past Young Munster 13-12 at Castle Avenue. The sides were level 6-6 at half time with Conor Hayes kicking two penalties for the visitors. Hayes put Young Munster ahead with his third penalty, but Clontarf replied with a converted try and Munster’s only response was a fourth penalty from Hayes.
Trailing 18-0 at halftime at Lakelands Park, Cork Constitution were unable to close the gap and saw their season end after Terenure College defeated them 30-12. James Murphy and Cathal O’Flaherty scored tries for Con’ and Aidan Moynihan kicked one conversion.
Shannon and Highfield will contest the Division 1A playoff final after both sides recorded wins in Dublin and this will be a repeat of last season’s decider at Woodleigh Park, which Shannon won.
Despite trailing 6-0 early in the opening half at Thomond Park, Shannon emerged comfortable winners on a 24-6 scoreline against Old Wesley. Jordan Prenderville, Josh Costelloe, Colm Heffernan, and Aran Hehir scored tries for Shannon, and Michael Cooke added two conversions.
Highfield had to withstand a late Old Belvedere barrage at Ollie Campbell Park, before emerging with a 19-17 victory. A try from Luke Kingston converted by James Taylor gave Highfield an early 7-0 advantage, but the home side hit back to level. A try by Darragh Fitzgerald on the stroke of halftime saw Highfield lead 12-7 at the interval. Belvo’ closed the gap to two points with a penalty, but a try by Chris Banon, converted by Taylor saw the visitors open up a nine-point lead entering the final stages.
A late try by Blackrock College saw them snatch victory at Stradbrook against Nenagh Ormond to earn them a 10-8 victory in the Division 1B semi-final playoff. Kevin O’Flaherty scored a try for Nenagh and Conor McMahon added a penalty.
In a thrilling game at Annacotty, UL Bohemian booked their place in the final of the Division 2A Playoff where they will host Dungannon, after a narrow 16-14 win against Sligo. A try by Ignacio Garcia and a conversion and two penalties by Harry Byrne saw UL Bohs lead 13-7 at halftime. Sligo took the lead with a second converted try but a third Byrne penalty made it 16-14 for the home side before Sligo missed a penalty to win it in the closing stages.
Bruff caused a big upset at Crowley Park defeating Galwegians 24-12 to book their place in the final of the Division 2B playoff against Skerries. Bruff took the lead with a penalty try, but tries from Tom Quigley, Pa Maher, and Eamon Costelloe, along with one conversion by Sean Kilbridge saw them reach the decider.
Two tries by Lily Brady were not enough for UL Bohemian in the Women’s All Ireland Cup Final as they lost to Railway Union 28-12 at Templeville Road.
UCC will face U.L. Bohemian in the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Plate Final after their 33-20 win over Midleton at the Mardyke.
All Ireland League Division 1A Semi-Finals:Clontarf 13, Young Munster 12;
Terenure College 30, Cork Constitution 12;
All Ireland League Division 1A Promotion Semi-Finals:Old Belvedere 17, Highfield 19;
Shannon 24, Old Wesley 6;
All Ireland League Division 1B Promotion Semi-Finals:Banbridge 18, M.U. Barnhall 20;
Blackrock College 10, Nenagh Ormond 8;
All Ireland League Division 2A Promotion Semi-Finals:Galway Corinthians 12, Dungannon 16;
U.L. Bohemian 16, Sligo 14;
All Ireland League Division 2B Promotion Semi-Finals:Galwegians 12, Bruff 24;
Skerries 12, Tullamore 3;
Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Plate:U.C.C. 33, Midleton 20;