OLD BELVEDERE are back on the top of the Ulster Bank Division 1A table after a 30-23 bonus-point win over Shannon at Coonagh.
The victory means that they move ahead of Cork Constitution on points difference. Not that it will unduly bother Cork Con, as both clubs now seem certain to secure play-off spots.
After losing at home to Young Munster last week, it was crucial for Belvo to respond in positive fashion -- which they did, scoring five tries through Ben Woods, Dave Mongan, Danny Riordan, John Kennedy and Conal Keane. The rest of the points came from the boot of Keane.
Shannon must regroup before facing Young Munster in a crucial Limerick derby next weekend.
Con yet again proved their strength in depth by coming from 13-0 down to overcome Dolphin 23-16 at Musgrave Park. The champions were able to call on five members of the Munster bench from Friday's game, while Dolphin were without Danny Barnes and David O'Callaghan who play for Munster A tomorrow.
For a while it looked as though Con going to lose for a second time to their neighbours, but they came good with Sean Scanlon and skipper Frank Cogan scoring tries.
The other key factor was the place-kicking of Gerry Hurley, with a conversion and two penalties.
Dolphin lie fourth from bottom, level with Shannon, and just a point ahead of Blackrock. They all must have been relieved to see bottom-of-the-table Garryowen go down 39-15 at home to St Mary's.
This was a top-class performance by Mary's, who crossed for five tries, from Mark Sexton, Richie Sweeney, Damien Hall, Ronan Doherty and Darren Hudson.
While Mary's are looking at the play-offs, Garryowen must improve considerably if they are to avoid relegation.
Clontarf comfortably lead Division 1B after a 17-15 away win over UCC thanks to Michael McGrath's try, converted by Martin Dufficy in the final minute.Second-placed Buccaneers went down to their second successive defeat at home to UL Bohemians who won 18-11, with tries from Sean Rennison and Darren Moroney.
Lansdowne stay in front of them in third spot after a runaway 39-10 bonus-point home victory over Dungannon. Matt Healy and Ciaran O'Boyle got two tries each.
Bottom side Galwegians recorded a dramatic 25-15 victory at Bruff, thanks to late tries from Tiernan O'Halloran and Brian Murphy.