Cawley Cup Preview

Credit Conor McKeown

Cawley Cup Final Preview

Westport v Ballinasloe, Guaran Park, Tuam RFC 7:30

The final of the Cawley Cup rarely disappoints when it comes to entertainment and drama even if the rounds leading up to that decider often leave plenty to be desired. Connacht’s Junior Club’s Cup rarely grabs the headlines until finals day.

The first final was way back in 2003 on St Patrick’s Day and garnered plenty of interest but over the years since the cup has been tagged on at the end of the calendar by competition organisers at the behest of the clubs.

That time frame meant that from year three, the Junior league winners were not included in the cup because of the AIL round robin and this merely added to the feeling that the competition had been undermined long before it started but the clubs of Connacht seem uninterested in addressing the issue.

PODCAST: AIL Restructuring Debacle

Ball

We are not happy here at KnockOn.ie. The new All Ireland League divisional structures have left us utterly perplexed and demoralised.

After a year long review of the club game and meetings with all 52 AIL clubs on the island, the IRFU’s solution has left a lot to be desired.

A reduction of two teams from 52-50 will be implemented at the end of this season, that will allow for the introduction of a fifth division and a major increase in the total number of games by 30 from 420 to 450. That will translate into four extra games a season for teams outside of the top two divisions.

Dundalk One Step Closer

Pic: Taken by Ciaran Culligan.

AIL Round Robin Qualifiers

Dundalk 24
Clonmel 8

Dundalk Scorers: Lotu Nuku, Thomas Campbell and James McConnon 1 try each; Ultan Murphy 3 cons, 1 pen.
Clonmel Scorers: Greg Carroll 1 try; Conor Cooney 1 pen.

Each hurdle cleared is a step closer to the target for Dundalk but they have a long trek west next week which will most likely be followed by their biggest test of the year a week later and all of that is thanks to Saturday’s comprehensive victory over Munster champions Clonmel.

Dundalk’s round one victory over Instonians in Belfast set this tie up as the decisive one in the pool and the Louth side bounced back from last week’s defeat to Enniscorthy with a strong performance a Mill Road.

UBL Results Round Up

Galwegians

Ulster Bank League Division 1a

BALLYNAHINCH 18 CLONTARF 33, Ballymacarn Park
Scorers: Ballynahinch: Tries: Steve Macauley, Michael Graham Rodger McBurney; Pen: Richard Reaney
Clontarf: Tries: Anthony Ryan, Conor O’Brien, David Joyce, Adrian D’Arcy; Cons: David Joyce, Rob Keogh; Pens: Rob Keogh 3

HT: Ballynahinch 8 Clontarf 17

CORK CONSTITUTION 3 UCD 10, Temple Hill
Scorers: Cork Constitution: Pen: Tomas Quinlan
UCD: Try: Liam Hyland; Con: Ross Byrne; Pen: Ross Byrne

HT: Cork Constitution 0 UCD 3

OLD BELVEDERE 18 TERENURE COLLEGE 8, Anglesea Road
Scorers: Old Belvedere: Pens: Josh Glynn 6
Terenure College: Try: Stephen O’Neill; Pen: James Thornton

HT: Old Belvedere 12 Terenure College 5

Round Robin Week 2

Clonmel

Ulster Bank All Ireland League Round Robin – Week 2

Dundalk v Clonmel, Mill Road, 2:30

The top two clash in county Louth in what could be the decisive fixture of the round robin this year. Only the winner of this competition will book a place in the play off and if Dundalk can win this match, they will be red hot favourites to secure the crown next weekend in Clifden.

Clonmel eased by Connemara in round one with plenty to spare and the bonus point they secured has them on top of the table heading into this clash. They come in as underdogs but Denis Leamy will have his troops primed for an upset.

For Ene Fa’atau and Dundalk the task today is to put the disappointment of the late collapse against Enniscorthy in Towns Cup action last week behind them and deliver in their most important home fixture of the season so far.

Leinster versus Munster showdowns are always thrilling, this should be too but the home side have the fire power to remain on course.

Home by 4

UBL: Final Day Scenarios

Galwegians Belfast Harlequins

Ulster Bank League Division 1a

Top 4: Lansdowne, Terenure and Clontarf are all safely through to the play off semi finals with Lansdowne and Terenure also assured of home semi finals.

The battle for the final remaining play off spot is between Ballynahinch, Young Munster, Old Belvedere, Cork Constitution and UCD.

Ballynahinch are favourites, a simple win of any kind against Clontarf today will book their place in the top four.

Should the county Down side slip up, Young Munster would be next in line but even a win against Lansdowne might not be enough as a bonus point may also be needed to keep the sides below them from overtaking them. If Young Munster end up tied on points with any side, their points differential will work against them. 

PODCAST: Towns Cup Ep’ 6

Towns Cup semi final action from Kilkenny's 40-22 victory over Clondalkin. Photo from Sportsfile for Leinster Branch.

There is plenty to talk about in the podcast again this week after the Towns Cup semi final action last Sunday.

Enniscorthy and Kilkenny will meet in the 90th Leinster Provincial Towns Cup final (sponsored by Bank of Ireland) after the semi final victories at the weekend.

Dave Mahon joins host Rob Murphy to look ahead to the final and ascertain how a 27-22 defeat will impact on Dundalk’s hopes of defeating Clonmel in the qualifiers next weekend.

KnockOn.ie report Alan Deegan joins the show to look back on the big game in Naas where Enniscorthy came from 22-3 down to win.

Westport Win Junior Cup

Westport Monivea Cup Final

Heineken Connacht Junior Cup

Westport 14

Monivea 8

Westport Scorer: K. Corcoran try, K. Gill try, S Tobin 2 cons

Monivea Scorers: G. Divilly try, G. O’Connor pen

Report by Trevor Watson of the Mayo News

Westport are the Heineken Connacht Junior Cup Champions for the first time in 40 years, thanks to a hard fought, but thoroughly deserved victory over Monivea in The Sportsground on Sunday afternoon.

Played in glorious spring sunshine, this was a victory built on hard work, honest effort, some individual brilliance, and shrewd tactical work from the coaching staff.

The targeting of the Monivea lineout was clearly a specific pre match ploy, and it worked a dream as Eddie Dunning and co pilfered ball after ball from the sideline for the full eighty minutes.

Enniscorthy 27, Dundalk 22

Dundalk v Enniscorthy Towns Cup

Leinster Provincial Towns Cup



Dundalk 22
Enniscorthy 27



Alan Deegan at Forenaughts in Naas

They were there for the first final way back in 1925 and Enniscorthy will be there for the 90th Towns Cup decider later this month after Sunday’s semi final win. The tale that will illuminate how the inaugural winners of this competition made it to their ninth final needs to be told in full, as this was an extraordinary game of rugby.

The Wexford side were a full 18 points adrift of a rampant Dundalk after 60 minutes and even though they had started a spirited fightback leading to a brace of yellow cards for the slightly under pressure Louth outfit, the following tweet went out from our KnockOn.ie account as time ticked towards the 80 minute mark.

Munster Junior Cup Update

Clonmel Presentation

The Munster Junior Cup has very much reached the business end of proceedings with five teams still in the hunt for silverware as of Sunday morning.

Shannon and Kilfeacle are already into the last four and will play each other in the first semi final at Coonagh next Sunday (April 12th).

On Saturday evening, Young Munster booked a place in the semi finals thanks to a strong display at Tom Clifford Park against a highly fancied Highfield outfit.

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