Monday 25 September 2017

Club scene: The AIB league uncovered

MATCH OF THE DAY

Young Munster v Old Belvedere,

Tom Clifford Park, 2.30

Both promoted sides have taken to life in the top tier with aplomb, with the second-placed visitors ahead of the Limerick men by two points in third.

They sides battled out a forgettable 3-3 draw this time last year and with the weather forecast looking gloomy, this one looks like it will be tight -- as demonstrated by the return fixture, which Young Munster took by a point in Dublin.

Belvo have yet to play outside the capital this season and this afternoon represents a test of their ambitions after wins over St Mary's and Blackrock sandwiched between a home defeat to champions Cork Constitution.

Place-kicking will be crucial and with Division 1A's top points-scorer Alan Kingsley's radar rarely off, Belvo will have to keep their discipline.

Conal Keane has ably filled in for Belvo's injured player-coach Andy Dunne (pictured) at No 10 in recent weeks, while openside Richie Leydon has an eye for the try-line. If the Anglesea Road side can get the ball wide, Dave Mongan can do serious damage with his pace, while Leo Avua'a and Stewart Maguire will be expected to make the hard yards up front.

Mike Prendergast's Cookies want a return to winning ways after losing their unbeaten record to Con last week. They will look for the likes of Hugh McGrath and Neville Melbourne to gain field position for Kingsley to kick them home.

Verdict: Young Munster.

DOWN MEMORY LANE

October 21, 1995

Shannon 19 Cork Con 10

Cork Con may be the kingpins these days as they visit Coonagh, but when they travelled to Limerick 15 years ago last week, they got a firm reminder of their place as the champions marched on.

Despite having slipped up twice a year on from their 100pc season, Niall O'Donovan's men responded to the challenge from an unbeaten Con with a vintage performance in front of a partisan crowd.

Brian Rigney, Anthony Foley (pictured) and Kieran Maher led from the front as Shannon came from behind to race into a 16-7 lead in the second half thanks to a long-range Pat Murray penalty and a Maher try and they held on to win and went on to regain the title.

SHANNON -- P Murray (capt); W O'Shea, A Thompson, A McGrath, N O'Shea; J Galvin, G Russell; D Costello, J Deegan, S Twomey; B Rigney, M Galwey; K Maher, E Halvey, A Foley.

CORK CONSTITUTION -- Kenny Murphy; D O'Dowd, B Walsh, N Murray, R Casey; P Burke, D O'Mahony (capt); P Soden, D Lee, P McCarthy; G Fulcher, Ken Murphy; U O'Callaghan, V Donnelly, J Murray.

REF -- D McHugh (MAR).

AIB LEAGUE DUALS

Players who have lined out for both clubs in today's games:

Lansdowne v Galwegians

Alan Reddan, Eric Elwood, Stuart Meagher, John Lyne

Blackrock v Garryowen

Stephen McIvor

Ballymena v Ballynahinch

Peter Spence

AIB LEAGUE FIXTURES

(2.30 unless stated)

Division 1A

Blackrock College v Garryowen, Stradbrook; Dolphin v St Mary's College, Musgrave Park; Shannon v Cork Constitution, Coonagh; Young Munster v Old Belvedere, Clifford Park.

Division 1B

Bruff v UL Bohemian, Kilballyowen Park; Buccaneers v UCC, Dubarry Park; Dungannon v Clontarf, Stevenson Park; Lansdowne v Galwegians, Aviva Stadium.

Division 2

Ballymena v Ballynahinch, Eaton Park; Clonakilty v Old Wesley, The Vale; DLSP v Terenure College, Kirwan Park; Dublin University v Midleton, College Park; Malone v Old Crescent, Gibson Park; Queen's University v Corinthians Dub Lane; Thomond v Bective Rangers, Fitzgerald Park; UCD v Belfast Harlequins, Belfield.

Division 3

Banbridge v Suttonians, Rifle Park; Greystones v City of Derry, Dr.

Hickey Park; Highfield v Wanderers, Woodleigh Park; Instonians v Rainey Old Boys, Shaws Bridge; Naas v Sunday's Well, Fournaughts; Navan v Connemara, Belreask; Nenagh Ormond v Ards, Nenagh; Seapoint v NUIM Barnhall, Killiney.

Irish Independent

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