Plenty of Limerick hope alive as AIL returns

The All-Ireland League (AIL) resumes this weekend with Limerick clubs in prime position to make a push for the playoffs in their respective divisions. Garryowen are the best placed Limerick side as they sit in second place behind Division 1A runaway leaders Cork Con.

The Light Blues has six wins from their nine games in the first half of the season. Last time out, they had a one-point loss away to UCD but have an immediate chance for revenge when the students visit Dooradoyle on Saturday. It promises to be an intriguing encounter between the second and third place teams in 1A.

In the same division, Young Munster are in seventh position after earning three wins and a draw from their games thus far. Gearoid Prendergast’s side had three defeats and a draw from their opening four games but their fortunes turned with three wins on the bounce against Lansdowne, Dublin University and Ballynahinch.

They finished the first half of the season with one-point home loss to Cork Con, but Prendergast will have taken huge confidence from a performance that on other days would have yielded victory. They lost again to Con in the Munster Senior Cup (and to Old Crescent in the Sporting Limerick Charity Cup) and resume their season against the same opposition at Temple Hill on Saturday.

In Division 1B, Shannon will need to be more consistent if they are to have any chance of returning to the top level next season. Tadhg Bennett’s men are currently in seventh, but are just two points off the playoff spots. They return to action with a tricky game against top of the table Highfield at Thomond Park’s back pitch.

Old Crescent are best placed of the Limerick sides in Division 2A. Matt Browne’s charges are in third place following six wins and three defeats. They make the trip to sixth place Buccaneers after a morale-boosting victory in the Sporting Limerick Charity Cup over Young Munster during the break.

It has been a mixed season for the other side in the division, UL Bohemian. Bohs’ two wins from their nine games doesn’t tell the full story of their campaign. They will be looking to move away from the relegation places by earning a home win over high flying Cashel in UL.

Bruff will be looking for a return to form when they make the trip to Tullamore this weekend. The south Limerick club won three of their first four games of the season, but only one win in five has seen them drop from promotion hopefuls to mid-table obscurity. A win in Offaly would could see them jump back into the top four.

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