Munster Previews

Kanturk vs Skibbereen -2480

Munster Junior Cup Quarter Finals

It’s quarter final weekend in the Munster Junior Cup and the competition is building towards an exciting conclusion with the senior club superiority not as clear cut this season as it has been in previous years.

Skibbereen v Clonmel, Showgrounds, Sunday 2:3pm

More Junior Cup drama in west Cork this weekend, Skibbereen will look to continue their good recent record in this competition when they host an ever improving Clonmel.

The south Tipperary outfit caused a major stir in the previous round with their win away to Cork Constitution. Denis Leamy’s side finished second in the league standings on points difference ahead of Newcastle West and St Mary’s and that really underlines a season of great progress yet they will not be happy with just that, there is a momentum surrounding them now.

Podcast: Towns Cup Verdict

The Final is here and this is our preview show. Host Rob Murphy and regular guest Dave Mahon preview Sunday’s decider in Tullow where Ashbourne go for their first title against a Kilkenny side looking for their sixth and first in 12 years.

We’ll record a post game podcast immediately after the game on Sunday with additional guests and an on the spot reaction to the game which promises to be close and enthralling.

3 Teams Backing Kanturk

Cobh Pirates

Three Munster teams could have a late season reprieve if Kanturk can usurp long standing AIL side Instonians in Belfast on Saturday and book their place in the Ulster Bank League next season.

If the Cork side gain promotion, Cobh Pirates will take their place in next season’s All Ireland Junior Cup. Brendan O’Connor’s side finished fifth in Division 1 just ahead of Clonakilty on points difference but outside of the top four.

At the other end of Division 1, relegated Waterpark will be rooting for the Munster champion a little more than everyone else. They finished second bottom, 13th, in Division 1 but will avoid relegation if Kanturk gain promotion to ensure a 14 team top flight.

Wanderers Return

Wanderers celebrate

Wanderers completed their journey back to senior rugby on their home patch last Saturday 51-7 victory over Galway side OLBC.

The margin of victory underlined their superiority on the day and a run of 16 wins from 17 outings in the campaign for promotion should explain the rest. Their sole defeat coming on the last day of league season at Cill Dara when the home side had a lot more to play for.

Overall, if you take out the first month of last season, Wanderers have been a cut above every other side at Leinster Junior rugby since October 2012. It took time to adjust to life back in the junior ranks and the machine that was Tullamore proved too much to overcome in season one.


Kilkenny Podcast

Our Towns Cup special comes from Foulkestown, home of Kilkenny RFC who are in their first final since 2002 this weekend as they take on Ashbourne in Tullow this coming Sunday.’s Rob Murphy sat down with Kilkenny head coach Steve Ashmore, captain Joe Manuel and No.8 David O’Connor just days before the club’s big day.

The trio discuss the remarkable turnaround in their season and point to a January team meeting after a narrow loss in Monkstown as a turning point, they also talk about links to the last final and the ever expanded rugby club in the south east city.

Cawley Cup Final


Battling away performances were the order of the day in the Cawley Cup semi finals on Sunday as Westport and Connemara booked their places in the final which is scheduled for Easter Sunday at 2:30pm in Crowley Park, home of Galwegians RFC.

(Incidentally, the two clubs made a joint request to have the game moved to 4pm on Saturday but the request was refused by the branch leaving it on Easter Sunday.)

It took a late try in Moher Road for Westport to pip Ballinasloe and reach a second major final of the season. The 24-23 win sends the Bulls back to the final of this competition after a heavy defeat at the hands of Ballina last year’s decider.

Meanwhile, Connemara are competing in the competition – reserved solely for Junior Clubs – for the very first time this season and followed up their one point win at Monivea last week with a slightly more comprehensive 21-12 triumph at Ballina.

Kanturk One Step Closer

Kanturk RFC vs Clogher Valley-9970

UBL Round Robin Qualifiers
Kanturk 18
Clogher Valley 7

Kanturk Scorers: Buckley 1 try; Healy 2 tries, 1 pen.
Clogher Valley Scorers: Best 1 try; Armstrong 1 con.

Kanturk moved to within one win of All Ireland League rugby at the weekend thanks in the main to a blistering first half display at home to Clogher Valley.

Three tries were enough to secure a deserved win but the 18-7 scoreline flattered the Cork side by full time leaving them with plenty to ponder ahead of next weekend’s play off at Instonians.

That atmosphere at Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast City next Saturday afternoon will be a unique one, the proud home club of Instonians will be defending their senior status against a Kanturk side that are now driven to achieve their goal of reaching Division 2b of the All Ireland League.

PODCAST: Ashbourne RFC

Ashbourne Longford

The first of our Towns Cup Final podcasts features Ashbourne RFC.

Host Rob Murphy is joined by player and coach Jeff Mahon, captain Rory Gleeson and back row man Mark Rooney to look ahead to this Sunday’s Provincial Towns Cup final against Kilkenny at Black Gates, home of Tullow RFC.

Jeff played on the last Ashbourne side to reach this stage in 1999 in a defeat to Naas in Mullinger. The current team are looking for their first ever title.

The lads discuss their memories of that game, be it on the sidelines as young supporters or on the pitch, the incredible run of form this season that has seen them remain unbeaten in league and cup and the relief at having got out of Division 1b just at the right time.

Skerries Promoted


UBL Division 2b

Sligo 13
Skerries 50

Sligo Scorers: Eoin Matthews 1 try, David Heath 1 con, 2 pens.
Skerries Scorers: Paul Devitt and Mark Hewitt 2 tries each; Ronan Connolly, Ross McAuley, Christ Tonge 1 try each; Conal Keane 6 cons 1 pen.

After 20 minutes on Saturday, Skerries were not thinking about promotion, they just wanted the win to keep their hopes of third place intact and a play off next weekend.

At that moment, it was 0-0 in their clash away to Sligo in the north west of Connacht while Thomond led and had three tries on the board away to DLSP. Greystones were going strong at Sunday’s Well too.

The challenge at the outset was to match the result of Thomond and Greystones and then hope to make up the ground on the Limerick side on points difference. Skerries were nine points in arrears before kick off in that regard. Three teams chasing the second promotion spot or at least the play off spot for third.

Caption: Action from Strandhill on Saturday. Pic: Eric Walsh, Skerries RFC Facebook.

Munster Results


In the final Round four game in the Munster Junior Cup, Thomond 2nds produced a brilliant home display to oust a strong Newcastle West side from the competition and book their place in the quarter finals of the illustrious competition.

The 15-13 win books them a slot away to Clanwilliam in the last eight, the men from Limerick will now be slight favourites in that tie. The Quarter finals take place next Sunday.

In the Junior Clubs Challange Cup on Sunday, Skibbereen were too strong for Old Christians and advanced to the last four.

In Division 2, Newport earned a draw at home to Thurles in the final game of the season that could prove crucial. Should Kanturk gain promotion to the AIL, the Tipperary side will avoid relegation.

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