Saturday 23 September 2017

Lansdowne wary of Mary's banana skin on title march

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

LANSDOWNE can take another step towards glory at the Aviva Stadium today as they take on champions St Mary's.

Leading the league by 14 points with five matches to go, Mike Ruddock's men look unstoppable and if anyone else is to get a look-in in the title race, then Mary's would have to deliver a shock this afternoon.

Having briefly flirted with relegation, the 2011-12 league winners have battled back and sit in sixth place. While not as strong as they were last year, they retain plenty of strike runners and a pack who can battle with the best sides.

However, Lansdowne have been irrepressible this season and their out-half Craig Ronaldson (left) has been outstanding.

They also have serious options out wide, where their back-three of Ross McCarron, Cian Aherne and Foster Horan have been ripping it up.

They should take another step towards a first All-Ireland League title, but Clontarf will be hoping to take advantage of any slip as they face basement boys UL Bohemian in Limerick.

Two points behind the northsiders are Garryowen, whose challenge has faltered in recent weeks and they face a difficult trip to relegation-threatened Old Belvedere.

Shannon will be hoping to continue their recent revival in Cork where they face another in-form side in Dolphin.

In the race for promotion from Division 1B, leaders Ballynahinch host Malone, while red-hot UCD host Buccaneers and Trinity travel to Belfast Harlequins.

Irish Independent

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