AIL newcomers Skerries creeped up to mid-table with this draw at Liam Fitzgerald Park last Saturday - despite losing 2-0 on the try count to hosts Thomond.John Murphy's charges were poised for a narrow victory which would have lifted them into eight spot, but then conceded a lastgasp try and only for a missed conversion they would have suffered their third defeat from four outings. After a bright morning and just prior to the 2.30pm drop-out the darkest of dark clouds rolled in from the Atlantic and deposited a substantial amount of its contents on the pitch in Limerick. With conditions far from ideal the visitors had the breeze in the first half but lost their openside Ronan Connolly with just 10 minutes gone following a heavy tackle. Thomond were the livelier of the two teams in the loose and their well-drilled maul made good headway at times, leaving the visitors in their wake. Despite this, Skerries' defence held until the half-hour when the Munster side used the maul to good effect and rumbled over for a try from 15 metres out following a lineout. Thomond's full back and captain made the score 7-3 with the successful conversion, Conal Keane having opened the scoring with a penalty kick, and Keane took two more opportunities before the turnaround to give Skerries a narrow 9-7 advantage. However, with the half almost at an end the away side were reduced to 14 players when Mark Hewitt, who had a fine game overall, saw yellow following an instinctive reaction to his opposite number's sidestep which the referee deemed punishable. The wind eased somewhat for the second half, but the showery rain continued, making the conditions very greasy, preventing a fast, open game developing. Nevertheless, the visitors made light of those 10 minutes when they were a man short and began to get to grips with the task at hand. They had the majority of territory and possession for most of the second period and Conal Keane slotted his fourth penalty of the afternoon to increase the gap to five points. But it simply wasn't enough, and from what was possibly their only attack of note in the entire half, Thomond conjured another try through excellent rucking play and some poor handling from the visitors. To Skerries' relief the conversion, which would have won it for Thomond at the death, fell narrowly wide. Both sides have reasons to look on this match with frustration and the draw is an irksome outcome to any contest, but a draw offers a few crumbs of comfort as Skerries begin preparations for a tough test at home to joint leaders Armagh on Saturday week.