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Club scene: The AIB league uncovered


Old Belvedere v Young Munster,

Anglesea Rd, 2.30

HAVING availed of a major favour from the Cookies last weekend, Old Belvedere will be looking to end the goodwill in Donnybrook this afternoon.

The Dubliners took full advantage of Young Munster's heroic win over Cork Con to leapfrog the leaders back into top spot -- despite struggling with the conditions, they snatched victory over Blackrock with a late try by Dave Mongan (right) and Andy Dunne's conversion.

The hosts can put 17 points between themselves and fourth place with victory. They possess plenty of threat and have three players -- Danny Riordan (5), Leo Auva'a and Richie Leyden (4) -- in the top five try scorers this season.

This will be another good test for rising star Stewart Maguire, and the giant prop will need to front up. Behind him, Leydon will lead by example and Auva'a will look to take on the tacklers at every opportunity.

Belvo hammered Young Munster 35-0 at Tom Clifford Park in October but the Limerick men are on an upward curve and ran St Mary's close on their last visit to Dublin. The victory over Con will give them plenty of confidence and they will want to keep pace with the play-off chasing teams.

Alan Kingsley's form from placed balls is key for Mike Prendergast's men, while Willie Staunton will look to control the match from No 10. A bonus point may prove a decent return.

Verdict: Old Belvedere

Down Memory Lane

January 31, 1998

Shannon 19

Ballymena 13

A LATE, late show secured Shannon's third title in a row in 1998 as the Limerick kingpins delved deep into their resolve and produced Billy O'Shea's try to see off an impressive Ballymena at Thomond Park.

With Anthony Foley (right), Eddie Halvey and Noel Healy unable to train all week and Ballymena in top form, Shannon's four-year unbeaten home run looked under threat after Stanley McDowell's try and eight points from the boot of Derek McAleese.

But from a line-out, Jim Galvin skipped to Andrew Thompson, he straightened and fed Rhys Ellison. The centre found partner Paul McMahon who put O'Shea away. Cue hysteria and countless renditions of 'The Isle' as the title stayed in Limerick.

SHANNON -- B O'Shea; J Lacey, P McMahon, R Ellison, A Thompson; J Galvin, G Russell; M Horan, M McDermott, N Healy; M Galwey, J Hayes; A Quinlan, E Halvey, A Foley (capt).

BALLYMENA -- J Cunningham; J Topping, M Rainey, S McDowell, A Park; D McAleese, A Matchett; N McKiernan, S Ritchie (capt), R Irwin; G Longwell, R West; A Graham, A Dougan, K Gallick.

AIL Duals

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

Galwegians v Lansdowne: Alan Reddan, Eric Elwood, Stuart Meagher, John Lyne.


(2.30 unless stated)

Division 1A: Cork Constitution v Shannon, Temple Hill; Garryowen v Blackrock, Dooradoyle; Old Belvedere v Young Munster, Anglesea Rd; St Mary's v Dolphin, Templeville Road.

Division 1B: Clontarf v Dungannon, Castle Ave; Galwegians v Lansdowne, Crowley Park; UCC v Buccaneers, Mardyke; UL Bohemian v Bruff, Annacotty.

Division 2: Belfast Harlequins v Bective Rangers, Deramore Park; Dublin University v Clonakilty, College Park; Malone v Ballymena, Gibson Park; Midleton v Terenure, Towns Park; Old Crescent v Corinthians, Rosbrien; QUB v Thomond, Dub Lane; UCD v Ballynahinch, Belfield.

Division 3: Ards v Banbridge, Hamilton Park; Highfield v Seapoint, Woodleigh Park; Instonians v Navan, Shaws Bridge; Naas v Suttonians, Fournaughts; Nenagh Ormond v Greystones, Nenagh; Rainey OB v City of Derry, Hatrick Park; Sunday's Well v NUIM Barnhall, Musgrave Park; Wanderers v Connemara, Merrion Road.

Irish Independent