All Ireland Cup Form Guide

Evan Lett on the charge during February's All Ireland Junior Cup final win over Clogher Valley. Pic: Voicu Duma

One of the great success stories of the IRFU in the club game in recent years has been the All Ireland Junior Cup.

It started in 2005, it still doesn’t get the final venue it deserves but as the race to qualify for the 16 team tournament has shown, thecompetition has captivated clubs all around the island of Ireland.

The Fixtures (Saturday 2:30)

CIYMS v Ballinasloe
Clogher Valley v Clondalkin
Clonmel v Bangor
Connemara v St Mary’s
Dundalk v Cobh Pirates
Enniscorthy v Portadown
Monivea v Coolmine
Newcastle West v OLBC

The Contenders

These are the sides that are seriously in contention for the title and would have the shortest odds if the bookmakers took a look at this tournament. All four would be confident that they have what it takes to win and all four will take some stopping. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Monivea 13, Connemara 17

Monivea Connemara

Connacht Division 1a
Monivea 13

Connemara 17

Alan Deegan at the Castle Grounds

Monivea Scorers: Cathal Laheen 1 try, Ger O’Connor 2 pens, 2 cons.
Connemara Scorers: Jack Vaughan 1 try; Shane Sweeney 4 pens.

The Connemara Blacks won a compelling battle against their main league title rivals Monivea at a windswept Castle Grounds on Sunday and moved three points clear at the top of the Connacht Junior League in the process.

The nature of the win can be encapsulated in the nature of the scrum contest. Monivea were the bigger, more dominant pack in the scrum, but Connemara’s clever use of quick, ‘channel one’ ball negated this potentially ruinous problem and actually gave the visitors the edge in what was a seismic encounter in the western provincial league.

Munster Senior Cup Lessons

Kanturk Thomond Scrum

Munster Senior Cup

If it’s upsets you like then the Munster Senior Cup provided very little at the weekend but as a form guide and an interesting insight into how AIL side’s are progressing during the three week break, the competition provided plenty.

The big guns are all through to the last eight, Con, Munsters, Garryowen, Bohs and Dolphin advanced at the weekend. Thomond and Cashel will fly the Division 2 flag after they picked up wins against fourth tier sides on the road.

The final last eight spot will go to either Bruff or Midleton. Those two Division 2b sides will meet this weekend as Bruff were involved in a re-fixed AIL clash with Ards at the weekend and one.

Leinster Stats

Leinster League – Division 1B:

Kilkenny 41, Newbridge 19

Kilkenny Scorers:: Podge Mahon 2 tries, Evan Dixon, Liam Caddy, Dearan McGrath, Sean Moran (wing) and Doc O’Connor. Rob Buckley 3 con

Kilkenny: Liam Caddy; Sean Moran, Rory McINerney, Podge Mahon, Evan Dixon; Rob Buckley, Dearan McGrath; Wayne Kavanagh, Murt Leahy, Sean Moran; Wes Carter, Alan McIntyre; Joe Manuel Ray Pembroke, Doc O’Connor.

Replacements Used: John Curtin, Gary Dunne, Brian Howe, John McGuinnes and Cormac Connolly.

Malahide 51, Co Carlow 10

Tullow 24, Wicklow 10

Tullow Scorers: William O’Brien 2 tries, Dylan Leybourne 1 try; William Canavan 1 con, Paul Canavan 2 cons.

Tullow: John Murphy; Bob Keogh, William O’Brien (cass), Paul Canavan, Robert Davies; Will Canavan, Aho Bloomfield; Scott Caldbeck, Sam Corrigan, Spencer Hanbidge; Erin Ingles, Frank Murphy; Brian Murphy, Aidan Murphy, William O’Brien.

Replacements: Alan Byrnes, Dylan Leybourne, John Hanbidge, Joe Waters.

Connacht Weekend Stats

Ballyhaunis

Connacht Division 1a

Thanks to all who sent us the statistics this weekend from their team’s action in Connacht. IF you haven’t done so already and you team stats don’t appear below, send to Rob@knockon.ie

Ballina 35
Corinthians 28

Ballina Scorers: David Twomey, Conor Forde, Michael Murphy and Conor Mason 1 try each; Kevin McCarron 1 try, 2 pen, 2, con.
Corinthians: Kieran Flaherty, Kevin Finneran and Davey Keogh 1 try each; Philip Noone, 2 con, 3 pens

Ballina: Kevin McCarron; David Brunker, Alex Corduff, Lawrence Leonard, David Twomey; Andy Moynihan, Michael Murphy; Conor Mason, Richard Kelly, Tom Tolan; Stephen Dolan, Mark Healy; Aidan McNulty, Conor Forde, Richard Morrow

Replacements: None used.

Corinthians: Kieran Flaherty; Ronan Rochford, Cian Dillane, Brian Fitzpatrick, Kevin Finneran; Philip Noone, Davey Keogh; Alan Bane, Alan Walsh, Aiodan Glynn; Dave Hansberry, Peadar Tonery; Dave Joyce, Keith Moran, Donnacha Phelan

Replacements Used: Declan Hogan, Brian Hayden and Cathal O’Shea.

Ulster Cup Update

Clogher Valley Ballymena

Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup

After Saturday’s second round action, the last eight of the Junior Cup in Ulster makes for a competitive list.

You have your leading contenders such as the holders Ballynahinch 2nds and Qualifying League leaders Instonians.

You have your challengers with real potential such as Bangor, Ballyclare and Ballymena 2nds.

And finally you have your dark horses, your outsiders namely, Omagh, Enniskillen and Belfast Harlequins 2nds.

Munster Update

Junior Clubs Challenge Cup

Sunday’s Challenge Cup action went largely to form with the big result of the day coming from Newcaslte West as they steam rolled Muskerry with surprising ease.

While the Limerick finished well ahead of their Cork opponents last season, both sides were unbeaten coming into this one and a close battle was predicted but for whatever reason, this was a fiercely one sided affair.

Elsewhere Kilfeacle’s good form continued with a win over St MAry’s, St Sean’s had too much for Kinsale and Skibbereen won a tight first round battle with Waterpark.

Results
Kilfeacle & District 23, St Mary’s 11
Muskerry 7, Newcastle West 49
Skibbereen 13, Waterpark 10
St Senan’s 30, Kinsale 7

Leinster Update

Gorey Wicklow

Leinster Division 1a

It’s four from four for Gorey now after a hard fought win in Longford on Sunday afternoon. They hold a two point lead in the table from Kilkenny who have won three, lost one and picked up four bonus points after they won comfortably against Newbridge.

Tullow are the dark horses for now, they are not collecting bonus points yet but three wins from four is a sharp start all the same.

That has them four back from Kilkenny for now and level with a Malahide side that have won two and lost two but racked up a high score against Carlow on Saturday night.

Connacht Update

Ballina Corinthians

Connacht Update

A busy Sunday in Connacht included a clash of the top two at the Castle Grounds where Connemara usurped Monivea 17-13 and a first win in four for Ballina against reigning champions Corinthians.

In Carrowholly, Westport made it four wins in a row by defeat a Galwegians side now in the bottom two while Ballinasloe scored four tries in defeat OLBC 30-5 at Moher Road.

Caption: Action from Ballina’s bonus point 35-28 win over Corinthians. Pic: Corinne Beattie.

Division 1a
Monivea 13, Connemara 17
Ballinasloe 30, OLBC 5
Westport 24, Galwegians 17
Ballina 35, Corinthians 28

Leinster Previews

Wicklow

Leinster Division 1b  (Sunday 2:30 unless stated)

Tullow v Wicklow

The men at Blackgates are in the hard to fathom category at the moment, the heavy loss in Gorey had us writing them off in round one but then they went to Malahide and edged a 51 point shoot out by a single point with William O’Brien and Aho Bloomfield snatching the tries. Two wins from three but 14 tries conceded all the same.

The visitors are a threat with two wins from three also but a little more stability in the tires against category having only conceded six. The 18-11 loss in Gorey was no disaster and that losing bonus point yet prove to be mighty valuable. They’ll expect at least that here but they’ll target an upset.

Away by 3 

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