High stakes final weekend for Limerick sides in the Ulster Bank League.
This Saturday represents the last day of the Ulster Bank League regular season with so much still on the line for many local clubs.
Garryowen are on the brink of a Division 1A semi-final spot. It’s been a long road back to glory for the light blues and head coach Conan Doyle who won promotion back to 1A in his first season at the helm three years ago.
At this stage last season the Dooradoyle based side were battling it out at the other end of the table but recruited well in the off-season.
Garryowen have already claimed silverware this season when they lifted the Munster Senior Cup in January as they claimed victory in an all-Limerick final against UL Bohemian.
Captain Neil Cronin lifted the trophy that day and has now been awarded for his fantastic club form with a Munster contract. The place kicking scrum half has been instrumental in the light blues’ success this season.
This Saturday Garryowen welcome St Mary’s College to Limerick knowing a win will almost guarantee a playoff place while a bonus point win would definitely cement a top four finish.
Last leage game of the season. Join us for pre-match lunch with guest speaker Tony Ward & '78 Jnr Cup reunion. Places are filling fast, book yours with Geraldine at 087 246 6815. Don't be left out! pic.twitter.com/htayeU9e5X
— Garryowen FC (@GarryowenFC) April 4, 2018
In the same division, Young Munster are still in with a mathematical chance of making a semi-final for the fourth straight season but will need to claim a bonus point win over UCD at Belfield and hope that results elsewhere go their way.
The cookies had a poor start to the campaign by their standards and despite a strong showing since the Christmas break look set to reach the end of the road on Saturday.
Arguably the biggest game of the day takes place at the back pitch at Thomond Park where Shannon host UCC.
The AIL’s most successful club can guarantee a return to club rugby’s top table with a bonus point win over UCC, although 4 points may well be enough for automatic promotion.
Tom Hayes’ men come into the game at the top of the division, when it had looked as though they were destined for a trip to the playoffs just a few weeks ago.
Big wins in their last three outings, as well as results elsewhere going their way have ensured that the famous parish side have it all in their own hands this Saturday.
We’ll be kicking things off in the clubhouse from 12:30. It’s great value with a 3 course lunch including match ticket for only €20. Places are filling up so make sure you book as we cannot cater for people who show up on the day. No bookings taken after Wednesday evening! pic.twitter.com/TZQtzHiqh5
— Shannon RFC (@Shannon_RFC) April 9, 2018
While UL Bohemian’s will have to battle it out at the other end of the table. Christy Neilan’s men will be hoping to navigate their way out of the relegation playoff place with a win over Banbridge at Rifle Park.
Last weekend’s bonus point win over Naas was crucial in setting up a chance to secure their Division 1B status for this season but the red robins will need to turn in another top performance come Saturday.
In 2B, champions Old Crescent can still ensure that they finish the season unbeaten but their chance of a perfect season slipped away following last weekend’s draw with Barnhall.
They finish their excellent season at home to Rainey and will no doubt already have an eye on 2A rugby ahead of next season.
In Division 2C, Thomond have the chance to bounce back from back to back relegation as they face into a massive tie with top spot Sligo at Hamilton Park.
The game acts as essentially a playoff final for automatic promotion with the winner moving up to 2B.
The soda cakes have shown a grit and determination to stop the rot this season and will be guaranteed at least a playoff place no matter the result on Saturday.
While in the same division Bruff are still in danger of dropping to the the relegation playoff place but know an away win will be enough to ensure their safety.