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Local clubs seeking Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup glory this week-end

By Aidan Corr
THE next round of the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup takes
centre stage on Sunday. Also on the list St Mary’s get a chance to rekindle their
promotion hopes when they return to action, travelling
east for a division two league game against Waterford City.
The Saints have two games in hand over leaders Crosshaven on 35 points
and second placed Castleisland who are on 28 points, both of whom have
played nine games. Thurles have played eight and are on 25 points with
Clonakilty and St Mary’s on 24 points with seven games played. Victory
over Waterford City is imperative for the Grove Island side if they
are to retain their challenge while a winning bonus point must also be
within their ambition.
With the Munster Junior Cup edging towards the business end, four
local survivors will be battling for tickets to the next round. The
local derby between Galbally and Newcastle West throws up an
interesting pairing. Galbally have been having a poor season by their
standards and are in serious danger of relegation. They have home
advantage, which can be important in cup games, and have shown a
slight improvement in recent outings. Newcastle West are a handy
outfit, they are experienced and although they went down to Richmond
in the league last Sunday, they can be expected to throw everything
into a determined bid to advance in this competition.
Richmond (pictured) transferred their game to the 4G surface in UL last week-end
and will be keeping that option open if the weather threatens Sunday’s
home tie against Waterpark. The city side are gradually blending into
a decent side. They are top of the MJL1 table, five points clear of
second placed Bandon and seven ahead of third placed Kilfeacle.
Newcastle West are fourth and, like Richmond, have played one game
more than the second and third placed sides. Getting to the next round
of the Junior Cup would be a big boost for Richmond and, on form, they
will be favourites to advance.
Shannon are also in cup action on Sunday. They will entertain UCC in
Coonagh and will go into this game as favourites. The Parish club won
this trophy a couple of seasons ago, they can draw from a group of
very talented players and it will be surprising of they do not advance
against what is expected to be a youthful College side.
In the Munster Junior Plate semi-final, Bruff will welcome Thomond to
Kilballyowen. Meetings between these two have increased since their
pairings in AIL 2C and there has always been very little between them.
Kilballyowen is a difficult venue for visiting teams but Thomond will
certainly go into this knock-out tie well parpared and determined to
reach the final and a meeting with the winners of Douglas-Carrigaline
and Bantry Bay.
The Munster junior rugby fixture list suffered another hit last Sunday
with four of the five games involving Limerick clubs called off due to
weather conditions. The only game played was the derby clash of
Richmond and Newcastle West in Richmond Park which ended with the city
side coming out on top but narrowly failing to get a winning bonus
point. Crosshaven raced to the top of the MJL2 table with a 22-0 win
over Old Christians while Castleisland are in second place after they
beat Kinsale 30-15. Clonakilty were leading Ballincollig 19-5 before
the referee was forced to called the game off.
MJL1, Richmond 19, Newcastle West 13: The meeting of these two great
rivals was always going to be a close affair and the good crowd that
made their way to the UL 4G venue were not disappointed. With three
tries scored, Richmond fans were hoping for that bonus point touchdown
but Newcastle held out for a losing bonus point with some typically
stubborn defensive work.
The home side had the better of the first half and led 14-6 at the
break. A penalty try and a second try by Barry Laffan, converted by
Tadhg Bennett to a brace of Sean Herlihy penalties for Newcastle West
told the story of that first 40 minutes. The second period was equally
hard-fought with Brian O’Sullivan getting a try for the visitors,
converted by Herlihy for a losing bonus point after Gearoid Phelan had
got in for Richmond’s third try. The final minutes were tense with
Newcastle West threatening to steal it but the green and whites held
out for a victory that puts them top of the table and keeps them in
contention for league honours.
Abbeyfeale could not travel to Bandon because of adverse weather
conditions, the Youghal v Galbally game was cancelled for the same
reason while the St Mary’s v Mitchelstown game, pencilled in for the
Grove Island venue, was also called off on the morning of the game. It
was the second week in succession that St Mary’s have had a league
game off.
fixtures, Sunday 18th February
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup: Cashel v Muskerry, Cashel, 2pm;
Castleisland v Kilfeacle, Castleisland, 2pm;
Cobh Pirates v Charleville, Cobh, 2pm;
Cork Constitution v Bandon, Temple Hill, 2pm;
Galbally v Newcastle West, Galbally, 2pm;
Mitchelstown v Kinsale, Mitchelstown, 2pm;
Richmond v Waterpark, Richmond Park, 2pm;
Shannon v U.C.C., Coonagh, 2pm;
Sunday’s Well v Crosshaven, Irish Independent Park, 2pm;
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Plate: Fermoy v Ballincollig, Fermoy, 2pm;
Fethard v Clonakilty, Fethard, 2pm;
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl Semi Finals: Bruff v Thomond,
Kilballyowen Park, 2pm;
Douglas-Carrigaline v Bantry Bay, Moneygourney, 2pm;
Munster Junior League Division 1: Clonmel v Clanwilliam, Clonmel;
Kanturk v Skibbereen, Kanturk;
Division 2: Thurles v Mallow, Thurles;
Waterford City v St. Mary’s, Waterford;
Martin O’Sullivan Cup Semi-Final: Ennis v Killorglin, Ennis, 2pm;

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