There is nothing like a local derby to throw up a surprise result and so it was at Dooradoyle where bottom club UL Bohemians beat local rivals Garryowen 16-13 for their third win in 12 AIB League Division 1A games.
AIB LEAGUE: DIVISION 1A: Saturday, March 27
GARRYOWEN 13 UL BOHEMIANS 16, Dooradoyle
Scorers: Garryowen: Try: Anthony Kavanagh; Con: Conor Murray; Pens: Conor Murray, Gerry Hurley
UL Bohemians: Try: Martin McPhail; Con: Fergal Lawlor; Pens: Fergal Lawlor 3
And all this after losing Munster and Ireland centre Barry Murphy through injury after only four minutes in what was his first game in several months.
Matters looked good for Garryowen when flanker Anthony Kavanagh got in for an early try which scrum half Conor Murray converted after missing two good penalty chances.
A penalty by out-half Fergal Lawlor and a converted try from former Bohs captain and Ireland Sevens international Martin McPhail had the visitors 10-7 in front at the break.
Two more penalties by Lawlor in the 47th and 49th minutes left Garryowen with a mountain to climb.
With half-an-hour remaining, Murray landed a penalty and replacement Gerry Hurley had another, but it was not enough to deny bottom side UL the bragging rights.
The result keeps Bohs’ hopes alive of avoiding the drop down to Division 1B. They had 16 points and will have to win their two remaining games – with bonus points – as Clontarf (24 points) and Blackrock (25) are almost out of sight.
The defeat is a significant blow to Garryowen’s chances of making the play-offs. They now have seven points to make up on third-placed Dolphin, with three matches for them to play.