AIL preview: Pressure cranks up on Cork clubs with three games left

Cork Con are pushing for the Division 1A semis while Dolphin are trying to avoid relegation in Division 2A
AIL preview: Pressure cranks up on Cork clubs with three games left

Cork Constitution's Billy Crowley tackling against Ballynahinch in energia All-Ireland League Division 1A at Temple Hill. Pic: Larry Cummins

THREE games left in energia All-Ireland League and all six Cork clubs still have something tangible to play for in what’s shaping up to be a thrilling finish to the 18-match schedule.

Cork Constitution stand on the brink of making the Division 1A semi-finals once again and they’ll clinch one of those coveted spots with victory over great rivals Shannon at Temple Hill tomorrow at 2.30pm.

It’s one of the classic fixtures on the club calendar and the latest installment should carry on that tradition especially as the Limerick club are battling for survival and striving to avoid the play-offs.

Shannon, in ninth, trail by UCD and Lansdowne by three points and are seven adrift of Trinity College. Every point is critical at this juncture in the season.

Con collected an important bonus point last time out against relegated Garryowen, courtesy of tries from Billy Scannell, Billy Crowley, Jack Kelleher and Niall Kenneally with George Coomber kicking three conversions and a late penalty to seal the points.

The result left Con in third place on 54 points in the standings, which are headed by champions Clontarf on 61.

Terenure College are second on 60 with Young Munster filling the last play-off berth on 47, five clear of Ballynahinch, who play the holders.

Con won 36-21 on Shannon soil earlier in the campaign, crossing for five tries, four of which were converted by captain Aidan Moynihan, who also kicked a penalty.

Both Highfield and UCC are on the road in Division 1B, playing Buccaneers and St Mary’s respectively in important games at either end of the table after rediscovering the winning feeling last time out.

Field remain fourth after pipping Old Wesley and are six behind Eddie O’Sullivan’s side while Wesley, five adrift of the Cork club, have leaders City of Armagh at home.

Buccaneers are attempting to complete a double over their Cork rivals having won 17-14 on Leeside in what is a crucial game for both sides.


UCC are out of the relegation play-off picture following the thrilling 46-34 success against Banbridge, but it’s still tight.

Bottom club Malone face Banbridge with just a point between them while College are eight points better off than Banbridge and face Malone at the Mardyke in the last round of games.

Dolphin are in a precarious position at the bottom of Division 2A, eight points behind UL Bohemians and making it a must-win game against Navan, in eighth, at Musgrave Park.

Line-out action involving Brian O'Mahony of Dolphin and John O'Flaherty, Nenagh Ormond, at Musgrave Park. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Line-out action involving Brian O'Mahony of Dolphin and John O'Flaherty, Nenagh Ormond, at Musgrave Park. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The Meath side won 29-12 at home and need a repeat to stay clear of UL Bohs, who are five points adrift.

The last four clubs in Division 2C meet on a crunch weekend. Sunday’s Well are last on 16 points and visit eighth placed Ballina with five points separating the pair.

Midleton, in seventh on 26 points, would stave off any prospect of being dragged into the relegation picture by winning away to Omagh Academicals who are ninth and just four ahead of the Well.

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