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The Munster Junior Cup takes centre stage this week-end

By Aidan Corr
AFTER a quiet week-end, with only three junior fixtures played, the
season bursts back into action this coming Saturday and Sunday with
the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup dominating. One game in that
competition was played last Saturday with division three side Tralee
knocking out high-ranking division two side Clonakilty on their own
turf. The Kerry lads led 8-7 at half time and in an exciting second
half, a try from Fearghal O Nuallain, converted by Jack Quilter, gave
them a surprise victory in the final minutes.
In the other games, the Gleeson League saw Newcastle West/Abbeyfeale
score a good away win over Ennis, 5-12 while St Senan’s beat Scariff
12-10. The game between Garryowen and St Mary’s in the same
competition was called off.
The Junior Cup moves into the business end this coming Sunday with
nine local clubs in action. The competition favours the senior seconds
who can be expected to draw their matchday teams from squads with up
to 50% senior (sometimes AIL experience) appearances and a higher
level of fitness. The 50% rule can apply to eligibility from early
season.
Trying to select the game of this round is a difficult task, but the
David v Goliath meeting of Garryowen and St Mary’s promises to be a
hard-fought local derby and worth the visit to Dooradoyle. This year
marks 50 years since the ‘Saints’ lifted the Munster Junior Cup for
the first and only time and this week Jim O’Dwyer reminisced on what
that meant to the club: “For those of us who played in that final in
Thomond Park, it was unforgettable,” the former Saints’ prop told us.
“We had some great players in that team, such as Paul Mangan and Pa
Ryan with me in the front-row and Shannon and Ireland’s Brendan Foley
(dad of the late Anthony), a stalwart in the second-row. Eddie Price,
also went on become one of the greatest ever players with Shannon.”
St Mary’s will travel to Dooradoyle determined to do well against
their more vaunted opponents. Christopher McNamara summed up the mood
in the Grove Island camp: “We’re the underdogs, no doubt about that,
but we will be up for the challenge. Unfortunately we may be without
Barry Duggan and also one other player, both of whom have work
commitments. Our lads have trained hard and if we can win this one, we
could have an easier draw in the next round.”
Good news for the Saints is that Garryowen have also a few selection
problems as they will be involved in an under 20 game and the AIL next
week-end.
In the other games in the Junior Cup, Abbeyfeale will have to be at
their best when they entertain Bandon while Galbally could get the
better of Killarney, with home advantage a factor. The meeting of
Newcastle West and UL Bohemian is also an interesting tie. Under the
coaching of Declan Edwards, the ‘West’ have been playing very well and
will be fancied to advance, while the city derby between Old Crescent
and Shannon in Rosbrien also promises to be a right cracker of a cup
tie. Young Munster make the journey to Youghal and will be fancied to
be in the hat for the next round while Richmond, who have found their
best form recently, will be hoping for a second away win against
Clanwilliam in three weeks.
Fixtures, Saturday, January 27, All Ireland Junior Cup Final:
Ashbourne v Kilfeacle, Portlaoise, 2.30; Bank Of Ireland Munster
Junior Cup: Mitchelstown v Fethard, Fermoy, 6.30pm; Sunday 28th
January, Bank Of Ireland Munster Junior Cup: Abbeyfeale v Bandon,
Abbeyfeale, 2pm; Cashel v Muskerry, Cashel, 2pm; Charleville v
Killorglin, Charleville, 2pm; Clanwilliam v Richmond, Clanwilliam
Park, 2pm; Galbally v Killarney, Galbally, 2pm; Garryowen v St Mary’s,
Dooradoyle, 2pm; Kanturk v Clonmel, Kanturk, 2pm; Newcastle West v
U.L. Bohemian, Newcastle West, 2pm; Old Crescent v Shannon, Rosbrien,
2pm; Skibbereen v Waterpark, Skibbereen, 2pm; St. Senan’s v Cork
Constitution, Jim Slattery Park, 2pm; Sunday’s Well v Nenagh Ormond,
Irish Independent Park, 2pm; Tralee v Highfield, Tralee, 2pm; Youghal
v Young Munster, Youghal, 2pm;

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