AIL: Sunday’s Well on the verge of losing their senior status

They need to win their last game by a cricket score to leapfrog Midleton who are trying to avoid the play-off
AIL: Sunday’s Well on the verge of losing their senior status

Sundays Well captain Conor O'Brien wins possession in a line-out against Midleton in energia All-Ireland League Division 2C at Musgrave Park. Pic Larry Cummins

SUNDAY'S WELL need a miracle to survive as a senior club in energia All-Ireland League Division 2C despite pipping fellow strugglers Midleton at the weekend.

The Musgrave Park club are five points adrift of their Cork rivals, who have a vastly superior scoring difference if it comes down to that after the final round of games on Saturday week.

Midleton are in the play-off spot three points off Omagh Academicals and four behind Ballina. The Well and Midleton are both at home to Bangor and Clonmel respectively.

The team finishing in second last place meet the losers of Richmond from Limerick and Ulster’s Clogher Valley who collide in the junior play-off with the winners promoted.

Dolphin’s relegation from Division 2A was confirmed after losing to second-placed Blackrock College. The Cork side are seven points behind UL Bohemians, who will be in the play-offs.

It’s shaping up to be an exciting and nervy conclusion for UCC and Highfield in Division 1B for different reasons.

College picked up an important losing bonus point in the 24-20 defeat away to promoted City of Armagh with hooker Luke McAuliffe scoring two tries and scrum-half Ignasi Rodriguez the other. Cian Whooley kicked a conversion and a penalty.

It leaves the Students with their destiny firmly in their own grasp against bottom side Malone at the Mardyke.

College are eighth in the table on 31 points, two more than Banbridge and four in front of Malone, who must win.

At the top, only six points separate Old Belvedere in second from Old Wesley in fifth with Highfield third a point behind Belvedere and three in front of Buccaneers before Navan come to town.

Cork Constitution closed the gap on Terenure College to two points after winning 27-23 at Temple Hill and they’re set to meet again in Dublin in the semi-final.

“We were conscious we could meet them again and it was in our hands whether it was them or Clontarf,” said coach Jonny Holland.

“It was a dress rehearsal and yet you don’t do dress rehearsals in this league. We intended on winning and just about got it at the end, but it could easily have gone the other way.” 

It avenged a heavy defeat earlier in the season as Con travel to play Young Munster and Terenure host Shannon.

“It was a massive turnaround from the game earlier in the season, but we didn’t talk about it too much though we did mention it.

“We know we are a different team from round 2, when we were a bit naive due to being a new group with different combinations who hadn’t played a lot of games together.

“Terenure were very good that day and we probably let ourselves down a small bit. I thought Saturday reflected more on where we are at even if they’re still ahead of us in the league.

“We gave as good as we got and that was one of the most pleasing aspects which showed why we are a different team. We wanted to get one back and it’s all to play for the next day.

“We didn’t go down by 40 points and got the first score, which I thought was important. Composure was huge in that we didn’t drop our heads when they were ahead.

“We didn’t opt out and kept going after them. Yet, it doesn’t do anything for the semi-final because we will have to go after them again.”

Terenure picked up two yellow cards in quick succession approach half-time during which second-row Eoin Quilter scored his two tries.

“Obviously with a numerical advantage, you try to do some damage and try and tire them out, when they had 13,” Holland concluded.

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