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Woods boosts Old Belvedere's hopes of avoiding relegation

DEFENDING champions Old Belvedere continued their late bid to avoid relegation from Division 1A with a 22-18 victory over Lansdowne at Anglesea Road.

After failing to record a win in their first 14 games, Old Belvedere have won three in a row. Their latest success means that they have at last moved off the bottom, three points ahead of Blackrock.

A Ben Woods try and four penalties from Gearoid McDonald helped secure the win. U-20 international Foster Horan scored two tries for Lansdowne.

Shannon beat Blackrock 21-3 in the big relegation battle at Coonagh. They pulled clear in the second half, with their tries coming from Conor Cunnane and Rob Guerin. Out-half Tadgh Bennett's boot was responsible for the remainer of their points.

The victory leaves Shannon third last, one point ahead of Old Belvedere and four in front of of bottom side Blackrock.

So, it is all to play for in the final series of matches next weekend. The bottom side is automatically relegated, with the second-last facing the Division 1B runners-up in a relegation-promotion play-off.

Elsewhere, Young Munster returned to form with a bonus-point 32-24 win over Dolphin, while Cork Constitution regained fourth by edging out Garryowen 21-20.

Belfast Harlequins and Dungannon lead the way in Division 1B.

Leaders Harlequins just got the better of UCD 24-22, while Dungannon hammered Ballymena 37-15 at Stevenson Park.

UL Bohemian maintained their promotion hopes with a 22-3 win over Ballynahinch.

At the other end of the table, Galwegians and Bruff recorded wins to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation. Consequently, UCD drop to second last.

The second-from-bottom side will face Malone in a play-off after their 63-0 win over Seapoint was enough to see off Queens on points difference.

Clonakilty have been relegated to Division 2B, while Instonians will face Banbridge in a play-off after the Down side came second behind Cashel, who lifted the Division 2B trophy after their 15th victory in a row.

Skerries will replace Wanderers in senior rugby next season after they beat Monivea, with the Galway men now playing off with Ards for the final place.

Irish Independent