13th April 2023 By Leonard Allen
The final series of regular-season games in the Men’s All Ireland League are down for decision this weekend.
The game of the day is the meeting of Young Munster and Cork Constitution at Tom Clifford Park in Division 1A of the Men’s All Ireland League. Both sides have secured their places in the top four as the Lilywhites defeated Terneure College 27-23 at Temple Hill last time out and claimed all points on offer. Young Munster were defeated 28-22 by Garryowen at Dooradoyle but claimed a losing bonus point to ensure their spot in the last four. Cork Constitution ran out 19-18 winners when these sides met at Temple Hill on the opening day of the campaign.
Shannon, who are three points adrift of safety, travel to Dublin to take on last year’s beaten finalists Terenure College, who have reached the semi-finals for the second successive year. Shannon ran out 26-10 maximum point winners over Ballynahinch at Thomond Park, while Terenure College returned home with a losing bonus point from their 27-23 defeat by Cork Constitution on Leeside. The Dublin side won October’s corresponding fixture 39-3 at Thomond Park.
Relegated Garryowen are also in the Capital, as they take on Dublin University at College Park. Garryowen will be looking to complete a disappointing season on a winning note as they defeated Young Munster 28-22 at Dooradoyle last time out. The Dublin Students were defeated 22-19 by UCD at Belfield but claimed a losing bonus point. Dublin University ran out 50-14 winners when they met Garryowen in Limerick.
Highfield, who have climbed up to third in Division 1B, following their 21-7 home win over Naas, travel to County Down to take on Banbridge, who are second from bottom. Highfield will be looking to make it two wins from two as they defeated the Ulster side 26-10, resulting in a losing bonus point for Banbridge on the opening day. The County Down side were held to a 27-27 draw with Old Belvedere at Ollie Campbell Park in their last game.
UCC, who are four points clear of the relegation play-off, entertain bottom side Malone at the Mardyke. The Leeside Students were narrowly defeated 24-20 by City of Armagh at the Palace Grounds, while Malone lost 29-13 to St Mary’s College at Gibson Park. The Leeside Students ran out 36-12 winners when these sides met in Belfast.
Nenagh Ormond and UL Bohemian lock horns in North Tipperary in Division 2A. Nenagh Ormond will be looking to end the campaign on a winning note as they have secured their top-four spot despite their 26-10 defeat by MU Barnhall in County Kildare. The Limerick side who occupy the relegation play-off place were defeated 33-19 by Cashel at Annacotty last time out. The North Tipperary side ran out 20-5 winners when these sides met in Limerick.
There is nothing more than pride at stake at the Spafield as Cashel entertain sixth-place Navan. Both sides ensured their safety with victories over UL Bohemian and Ballymena respectively. Cashel ran out 20-19 winners when these sides met in the Royal County, resulting in a losing bonus point for Navan.
Dolphin, whose relegation was confirmed when they were defeated 40-26 by Blackrock College at Musgrave Park, face a tricky task as they entertain leaders Queen’s University. The Belfast Students go into the tie on the back of a 45-10 home win over Old Crescent and they recorded a comprehensive 69-12 home win over Dolphin on the opening day of the season.
Old Crescent, who are seven points clear of the relegation playoff, entertain MU Barnhall at Takumi Park. Old Crescent will be looking to make the most of home advantage as they bid to bounce back from their 45-10 defeat by Queen’s University and end the campaign on a winning note. The County Kildare side won their last game 26-10 against Nenagh Ormond and they also won October’s corresponding fixture 44-27.
In Division 2C, Midleton and Clonmel lock horns at Towns Park, with both sides at opposite ends of the table. The East Cork side have slipped into the relegation play-off place following their 24-23 defeat by Sunday’s Well at Musgrave Park, where they claimed a losing bonus point. Clonmel are fourth, following their 36-19 home defeat by Omagh Academicals and they ran out 18-8 winners when these sides met in South Tipperary.
Bruff, who are fifth and three points adrift of a play-off place, face a tough assignment as they travel to County Tyrone to take on Omagh Academicals at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields. The Ulster side ran out 36-19 away winners over Clonmel last time out, while Bruff claimed a losing bonus point from their 24-17 home defeat by Tullamore. Omagh Academicals recorded a narrow 20-18 win when these sides met in County Limerick, resulting in a losing bonus point for Bruff.
Sunday’s Well, who have propped up the table for most of the season and look certain to be playing Junior rugby next season, welcome sixth-place Bangor to Musgrave Park. They narrowly defeated Midleton 24-23 at Musgrave Park last time out, while Bangor were defeated 27-17 by Ballina in North Mayo. The County Down side ran out 30-21 home winners when they met Sunday’s Well in October.
Richmond are contesting the Round Robin decider, as the Women’s Conference League Play-off is down for decision along with an assortment of Men’s deciders.
The Round Robin Play-off final is down for decision as Richmond go head to head with Ulster Champions and All Ireland Junior Cup winners Clogher Valley from Fivemiletown in County Tyrone at Ashbourne.
UL Bohemian and Skibbereen lock horns in the Munster Women’s League Play-off series. UL Bohemian ran out 20-5 maximum point winners at the Carbery Showgrounds in October, while Skibbereen recorded a 19-14 win at 4GUL in January, resulting in a losing bonus point for the Limerick side.
The Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate final sees Cashel taking on St Senan’s at Musgrave Park on Sunday. The Tipperary side are going for their fifth title and their first since 2007, while the Banner County side’s only triumph was in 2008.
The Martin O’Sullivan Cup decider, which is also at Musgrave Park on Sunday, sees Youghal going head to head with Waterford City.
Old Christians and Newcastle West meet at Rathcooney in the first semi-final of the Munster Junior Clubs’ Challenge Cup and the winners will meet Richmond or Kilfeacle in the decider.
The final place in Division 1 of the Munster Junior League next season will be decided next Sunday when Galbally-Mitchelstown host Charleville at Galbally.