The AIL Division Three table points to a Greystones-
Dublin University final but Old Wesley and Connemara will
have a word or two to say about that in the semi-finals
on Saturday afternoon.
Greystones finished top of the pile with 53 points, a point clear of the side from Trinity while the students, also
promoted to Division Two, had a ten point cushion to where Old Wesley and Connemara contested third and fourth spot respectively.
Pacesetters Greystones host the Connemara All Blacks at Dr Hickey Park and, having beaten the visitors when they met last month, are quietly confident. With just one injury (Graham Murphy), Greystones point to the strength of their backline where prolific out-half Ritchie Murphy and
Australian import Kieron Murphy have been in sparkling
But far from being overawed, AIL newcomers Connemara will travel to Wicklow with the feeling that their own back division is peaking right about now and that new out-half Fergal O’Rourke is able to get his teammates moving
forward. Four tries on the last day of the season, claiming
their first bonus point of the campaign, lends support to
that assertion but against Greystones, the Galwaymen
will meet a solid defence. If Connemara are to upset
their hosts much will also rest on the shoulders of captain
Bernard Keaney in the pack.
In the division’s other semi-final, Old Wesley make the short trip across the capital to College Park where they will meet a resurgent Dublin University. Captain Donal Crotty’s side narrowly missed out on top spot and will be keen to make amends in the play-offs.
But Old Wesley, relegated from Division Two last term, have proved capable of living with any side on their day this season and a place in the final would quicken their rehabilitation as they continue to build towards promotion.
In the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, the
students ran out 33-13 winners. However, that result was achieved early in October and neither side will pay it
too much lip service come the final whistle on Saturday