GARRYOWEN CAN CLAIM an overnight pole position in the Ulster Bank League division 1a tonight, but to do so, they will need a derby win away to UL Bohemians.
The game will be played under lights in Thomond Park and the hosts will be eager to bounce back after shipping 35 points in a heavy defeat in Clontarf last weekend.
The division’s remaining four games all get underway at 2.30 tomorrow with the pick of the bunch Lansdowne’s clash with Cork Con in the shadow of the Aviva Stadium.
Lansdowne, who celebrated their 140th birthday this week, go into the weekend with a one-point advantage over Garryowen and, depending how the Limerick derby goes, will look to win on their home patch to either restore or stretch a lead at the summit.
Con will be confident having twice defeated the Dublin 4 club last season and snatched a last gasp 21-20 win over Young Munster with a dramatic injury time seven-pointer.
It’s bound to be cold out, so Lansdowne have promised they will stream this fixture live.
Back in Munster, Musgrave Park will host Dolphin v St Mary‘s with just three points separating the Cork side in fourth from Mary’s in seventh.
The reigning champions have not yet begun to panic, despite losing twice in three attempts. They managed to take the trophy from an identical position last season, but the Templeogue club have been ravaged by injuries this term.
Look for Barry Keeshan to continue his fine kicking form on home ground, making Mary’s trip back north a long one.
Third placed Young Munster will hope to keep up their impressive form this season at home to Clontarf. Only the late loss to Cork Con has blotted their copybook thus far. The Cookies also boast the division’s top-scorer in the shape of Brian Haugh who has landed 39 points in just three games so far.
‘Tarf’s only win this season was the hammering of Bohemians, but these sides rarely disappoint if you’re looking for a fiercely contested match and the north Dubliners managed to win on their last visit to Tom Clifford Park.
Propping up the table
Something has to give in Anglesea Road. Both Old Belvedere and Shannon are still searching for their first win of the new season.
The hosts must go in as warm favourites as two of their defeats at least brought a bonus point. Shannon, have not yet managed to register a league point, but the points against column has been ticking up in worrying fashion with 115 conceded against just 23 scored.
Something, however, may not give. The first meeting between the sides last year ended in an 18-18 draw. Belvo went on to win the reverse fixture on home ground.