Club scene: The AIB league uncovered
Match of the day: Shannon 8 St Mary's 39
Dolphin v Cork Constitution, Musgrave Park, 2.30: THERE's plenty riding on the Cork derby this afternoon as Con look to make their place in the final four safe, while Dolphin want to ease their relegation concerns.
Con went back to the top of the table last weekend with a comprehensive dismissal of Shannon and with nine points between them and fourth place, look a safe bet for the semi-finals. However, the champions have been far from invincible, having lost twice and drawn once, and they will take nothing for granted this afternoon.
The hosts take the field at Musgrave Park after a humbling defeat to St Mary's last week and they have struggled in the absence of talisman James Coughlan, whose increased involvement with Munster has robbed Dolphin of so much go-forward ball.
Captain Barry Keeshan (pictured) will be key if they are to avoid the drop -- defeat today could potentially see them drop from fifth to bottom of the table.
They can draw comfort from the last meeting of the sides -- the 'Fins won 19-9 at Temple Hill back in November. Musgrave Park hasn't been a fortress for Shannon, but losing bonus points are keeping their heads above water.
Six of Con's potential starters were on Munster's bench last night and they will hope to have some available today. They should have enough to move closer to the play-offs.
Verdict: Cork Constitution.
DOWN MEMORY LANE
April 27, 2000
St Mary's 39
ST MARY'S stormed the citadel of Thomond Park as they served notice of their title-winning intent, despite at one stage playing with 13 men.
Despite the Shannon side fielding a number of the men who would move Munster and Ireland on to another level, the Dubliners were in no mood to respect reputations under Brent Pope's stewardship.
Victor Costello (pictured) was in rampant form in the back-row alongside Trevor Brennan, who scored the Templeville Road side's opening try.
Leading 16-3 through the boot of Mark McHugh, Brennan and Ross Doyle saw yellow in quick succession. But with centre Gareth Gannon brought into the scrum, Mary's won the set-piece against the head and broke free. John McWeeney crossed for his eighth try of the season and Mary's never looked back.
Shannon -- J Hayes; J O'Neill, A McGrath (J Galvin 57), R Ellison, M Lawlor; C Burke, P Stringer (F McNamara 76); M Horan (J Hickey 51), M McDermott (capt, D Quinlan 57), N Healy; M Galwey, J Langford; A Quinlan, E Halvey, A Foley.
St Mary's -- P McKenna; J McWeeney, R McIlreavy, C Gannon, D Hickie; M McHugh, P Lynch (A O'Sullivan 70); P Coyle (E Byrne 75), P Smyth (D Lee 70), D Clare; I Bloomer, M O'Kelly; T Brennan (capt, P Sullivan 69), R Doyle, V Costello.
Players who have lined out for both clubs in today's games:
Dolphin v Cork Constitution: Tomas O'Leary, Paul McCarthy, Conor Mahony, Cian Mahony, Ollie Barrett, Denis O'Dowd, Conor Twomey, Barry Sheehan, Paul Buckley.
Garryowen v St Mary's: Nicky Barry, Tony Ward, Kieran Lewis.
(2.30 unless stated)
Division 1A: Blackrock v Young Munster, Stradbrook; Dolphin v Cork Constitution, Musgrave Park; Garryowen v St Mary's, Dooradoyle; Shannon v Old Belvedere, Coonagh.
Division 1B: Bruff v Galwegians, Bruff; Buccaneers v UL Bohemian, Dubarry Park; Lansdowne v Dungannon, Aviva Stadium; UCC v Clontarf, Mardyke.
Division 2: Ballymena v Dublin University, Eaton Park; Ballynahinch v Belfast Harlequins, Ballymacarn Park; Bective Rangers v Midleton, Donnybrook; Clonakilty v UCD, The Vale; Corinthians v Old Wesley, Corinthian Park; DLSP v Queens University, Kirwan Park; Terenure v Old Crescent, Lakelands Park; Thomond v Malone, Fitzgerald Park.
Division 3: Banbridge v Nenagh Ormond, Rifle Park; NUIM Barnhall v Wanderers, Parsonstown; City of Derry v Ards, Judges Road, ; Connemara v Rainey Old Boys, Monastery Field; Greystones v Instonians, Dr Hickey Park; Navan v Highfield, Balreask; Seapoint v Naas, Kilbogget Park; Suttonians v Sunday's Well, Station Road.