Garryowen and Terenure storm into the semi-finals
Ulster Bank League Round-Up
Garryowen and Terenure College were the big winners on the final day of Division 1A's regular season, setting up semi-final clashes with defending champions Cork Constitution and table-topping Lansdowne respectively.
Cork Con will be in Terenure on Saturday week (April 28) after suffering a confidence-denting 43-12 loss at Clontarf. Centres Matt D'Arcy (2) and Sean O'Brien contributed three tries.
Terenure capitalised on the Con result to snatch second place and a home semi-final, James Blaney's men sauntering to a 50-12 win over Dublin University. The 'Nure attack is looking the sharpest of all in the top tier, with Sam Coghlan Murray, Matthew Byrne and James O'Donoghue all bagging braces.
Lansdowne already had top spot sewn up but try doubles from hooker Adam Boland and scrum half Alan Bennie saw them post a 26-17 win over relegated Buccaneers. Mike Ruddock's side will return to the Aviva Stadium's main pitch for that last-four date with Garryowen.
The Light Blues, coached by Conan Doyle, qualified for their first league semi-final since 2009 with a 48-21 success at home to St Mary's College. In-form Munster Academy winger Liam Coombes notched a hat-trick to end the regular season as the division's top try scorer with 11 overall.
A four-try second half from UCD saw them pip Young Munster 31-29 at Belfield where Munster's long-serving hooker Ger Slattery played his final game after more than 300 club appearances. The 30-year-old recently coached St Munchin's to a long-awaited Munster Schools Junior Cup title.
Shannon will be back playing Division 1A rugby next season after a five-year absence. Tom Hayes' young side clinched the Division 1B crown and promotion with a 40-17 win over UCC, aided by Ireland Students hooker Ty Chan's third try in as many games.
Banbridge's reward for edging out UL Bohemians 32-20 - Andrew Morrison took his season's haul to 13 tries - is second place and home advantage against Ballynahinch in the Division 1A promotion/relegation play-offs. Fourth-placed UCC will travel to St Mary's in the other play-off semi-final.
Tight title races in Divisions 2A and 2C were won by Malone and Sligo respectively.