30/03/02.While four sides battle for two play offs spots at the top of the table, Co Carlow and DLSP have the battle of their lives to fight in Oak Park and Kilternan respectively.
As the situation stands going into the last matches, Co Carlow (at home to Ballymena) are on 22 points while DLSP (at home to Galwegians) are on 21. Neither Ballymena nor Galwegians have anything to play for except pride with individual players perhaps playing for provincial contracts.
Of the two, DLSP have been in this position before and therefore have the experience to bolster their effort but this time around things couldn’t be tighter. This time maybe too tight for them.
They are one point behind,with the exact same points difference so the calculators will be hugely prominent at the end of this one.
DLSP coach Paddy Stewart will have to go into this game with the belief that Co Carlow will take a minimum of four points from their game with Ballymena (if Carlow were to win and get a bonus point then they stay up). In that situation, DLSP would have to beat Galwegians and score four tries and end up wihj a better winning margin than Carlow. That’s a tall order. Co Carlow will have one of the biggest crowds of the day (there’ll be as big if not bigger in Barnhall) and if they can get their act together a little earlier in the game then they can do enough to stay up. They will be without influential Andy Melville while Ballymena, contrary to what was believed earlier in the week, will have their international under 21 contingent.
At the head of the water, Garryowen must beat UCD to ensure their place in the play offs, Mary’s have an outside chance if they win in Stradbrook while Clontarf’s recent rich vein of form would make them the bookies choice for a play off with a home semi not out of the question.
Blackrock Coll v St Mary’s Coll – Stradbrook.
Buccaneers v Cork Con – Ericcson Park.
Co Carlow v Ballymena – Oak Park.
Dungannon v Clontarf – Stevenson Park.
DLSP v Galwegians – Kilternan.
Garryowen v UCD – Dooradoyle.
Terenure Coll v Shannon – Lakelands.
Young Munster v Lansdowne – Tom Clifford Park.