Tuesday 19 September 2017

UCD take over at the top

Leinster Club Rugby

UCD are the new pacesetters following their 20-7 win at St Mary's College on Sunday as they took advantage of Terenure College's 5-3 Monday night defeat away to Old Belvedere. Stock image
UCD are the new pacesetters following their 20-7 win at St Mary's College on Sunday as they took advantage of Terenure College's 5-3 Monday night defeat away to Old Belvedere. Stock image

Dermot O’Mahony

Division 1 of the Metro League is proving one of the most competitive leagues in the province with only four points separating the top four teams after the weekend's action.

UCD are the new pacesetters following their 20-7 win at St Mary's College on Sunday as they took advantage of Terenure College's 5-3 Monday night defeat away to Old Belvedere.

Lansdowne beat Clontarf 20-5 at home and are level with Terenure, a point off the top spot while Belvo are three points further adrift.

The top two teams qualify for a final to decide the winner of Division 1, with the table-toppers having home advantage, while the bottom two sides in the eight-team division play off to decide who is relegated.

With three games remaining, the battle to secure a place in the final is red hot, while at the bottom Blackrock College won at Old Wesley and have closed the gap on their hosts to a point.

Dublin University lead the way in Division 2 ahead of Naas and it looks like a matter of who they will play, and probably host, in the final with MU Barnhall also still just about in the mix in fourth place.

At the bottom Seapoint are consigned to finishing last and it's odds on they will visit Mary's to decide who goes down.

Old Wesley are running away with Division 3 and only need one more point from their last three matches to ensure home advantage in the final, with Wanderers best placed to make the decider, eight points clear of third-placed Stillorgan.

Bective Rangers are propping up Division 3 while Tullamore and Navan are battling to avoid hosting the Donnybrook club in the relegation play-off.

In Division 4 Blackrock College head a tightly bunched trio that also includes Skerries and UCD, while in Division 5 all that has to be decided is whether leaders Old Wesley or Clontarf have home advantage in the final.

The JP Fanagan Premier 1 (U-20) is building towards an exciting climax with Lansdowne leading UCD by four points and one more ahead of Dublin University, but there is another intriguing battle going on for fourth place.

The top four teams qualify for the All-Ireland U-20 Fraser McMullen Cup, and Navan are the surprise packet, playing at this elite level for the first time - the Meath side beat Terenure College 18-17 at home on Sunday to open a three-point advantage in fourth place over their Dublin 6W rivals.

On Sunday the enthralling U-20 skirmishes continue as Navan travel to leaders Lansdowne while Terenure host Trinity as both races, for the title and top four, go down to the wire.

Irish Independent

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