Player's burning van brings bizarre halt to Skerries-Clontarf tie
The league phase of the Senior League Cup and Shield drew to a close last weekend and the November semi-finalists for both competitions are now known.
In the Cup, UCD topped Section A and the students will host Lansdowne, the best runners-up, at Belfield at the penultimate stage, while Section C table-toppers Terenure College will welcome Old Belvedere to Lakelands.
In the Shield, Greystones won Section A, and their reward is a home tie at Dr Hickey Park against Tullamore, while Section B winners Wanderers will have home advantage in Lansdowne Road against Bective Rangers.
UCD won Section A of the Cup on Thursday last when they beat Old Wesley, who were level on points with 'Collidge' at kick off, 34-9, while Clontarf travelled to Skerries on Saturday and won 33-13 in a game that had a unique finish.
As full-time was approaching in Holmpatrick, smoke started to blow across the pitch. A van had caught fire and it belonged to one of the Skerries players! He ran off and tried to sort it out but the smoke got worse and people had to move cars.
The game was stopped as the fire brigade arrived to put it out. As a result of the lengthy delay, it was agreed to call a halt to proceedings.
Old Belvedere made the trek out to Leixlip a winning one as they beat MU Barnhall 48-21 on Saturday to secure top spot in Section B and they are joined in the semi-finals by Lansdowne, who bagged second place with a 31-24 away win against Blackrock College at Stradbrook on Friday.
Terenure College made it three wins from three on Thursday evening when they popped down to Naas and won 54-5 at Forenaughts, while on Saturday Trinity College won 14-10 away to St Mary's College at Templeville Road.
The decider to top Section A of the Shield, and with it home advantage in the semi-final, went the way of Greystones when they overcame visitors Bective Rangers 25-17 at Dr Hickey Park on Thursday, while on Saturday Navan secured local bragging rights in the derby encounter at Balreask Old when the hosts beat Boyne 63-20.
Wanderers, who were idle at the weekend as they had completed their programme courtesy of bringing their final match against Seapoint forward to mid-August, had already secured Section B and they were joined by Tullamore when the Co Offaly club beat their visitors Dundalk on Saturday.
The semi-finals are down for decision on November 14, with both Cup and Shield finals pencilled in for a December 12 double-header in Donnybrook.
There was also Junior action over the weekend as clubs prepare for the Leinster League, which gets under way at the end of the month, with their local Area competitions.
Some of the eye-catching results included Monkstown's 14-12 Spencer Cup victory away to Malahide and De La Salle Palmerston's 32-10 win in the same competition away to Coolmine, indicating that both victors are in good shape ahead of the more serious battles ahead in Division 1A.
It's important to point out, though, that every pre-season game carries a health warning as the strength of all teams can vary substantially from those that will line out later in the white heat of Leinster League warfare.