AFTER the calm of last week-end, with only one fixture fulfilled, junior rugby returns with gusto on Saturday and Sunday with four different competitions listed.
On Sunday Limerick’s main interest will be focused on the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup with four local clubs competing, while in the Munster Junior League division one both Abbeyfeale and Galbally will be trying to reap precious points.
Tipperary club Kilfeacle and District are on the brink of club history when they take on Dromore in the final of the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup on Saturday in Coolmine. Inspired by their experienced play-coach Willie Staunton, Kifeacle, who are currently leading division one of the Munster Junior League, will have to be at their best to beat this northern opposition.
Dromore are a quality side and they showed that with a 37-10 victory over Newcastle West in the opening round on October 26.
The Munster Junior Cup always brings its unique magic and victories for the minnows over the mightiest have not been uncommon over the decades. Bruff are at home to Dungarvan and should advance while Bantry Bay could be in for a difficult afternoon when they take the field in Rosbrien against Old Crescent.
This city club’s sides have been on fire at all levels this season and their style of open rugby continues to reap rewards. Home win almost certain.
UL Bohemian also have the benefit of home advantage and they will fancy their chances of moving into the next stage when Thurles visit Annacotty. Advancing in this competition would be a boost to the Red Robins and if they can field at full strength they should also be in the hat.
St Mary’s only victory in the Munster Junior Cup is still part of Limerick rugby folklore. Thomond Park was the venue when they lifted the trophy in 1968 and although they have gone close over the past 52 years, success has eluded them.
This Sunday they travel to Muskerry who are only eight points ahead of them in the MJL division two. This could be the game of the round. The ‘Saints’ are taking it seriously and whispers from the Grove Island camp is that training has gone very well in the build-up to this cup clash.
Jude Marlo Pendejito has been impressive for them at out-half and if their pack can hold their own up front, the city club could snatch victory. But it won’t be easy.
The two MJL1 games down for decision involve Abbeyfeale v Clanwilliam and Crosshaven v Galbally. ‘Abbey’ have shown good form in recent outings and they took a winning bonus point from their last fixture away to Waterpark. Derry O’Connor is in brilliant form for them but they will have to at their best to get the better of Clanwilliam who had a good win over St Senan’s last time out.
In the other league game Galbally make the journey to Crosshaven. The Bally boys have improved after a shaky start to the campaign and they had a good win over Richmond last week-end which will give them confidence. They will certainly run the Cork side close.
Fixtures, kick off 2.30pm unless otherwise stated.
Saturday, January 25:
Energia All Ireland Junior Cup Final: Kilfeacle v Dromore, Coolmine. Sunday, 26th January:
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Cup: Bruff v Dungarvan, Kilballyowen Park, 2pm.
Killorglin v Kanturk, Killorglin, 2pm.
Kinsale v Fethard, Kinsale, 2pm.
Mitchelstown v Cashel, Mitchelstown, 2pm.
Muskerry v St. Mary’s, Ballyanly, 2pm.
Nenagh Ormond v Old Christians, Nenagh, 2pm.
Old Crescent v Bantry Bay, Rosbrien, 2pm.
Scariff v Ennis, Scariff, 2pm.
Tralee v Fermoy, Tralee, 2pm.
U.L. Bohemian v Thurles, Annacotty, 2pm.
Waterford City v Ballincollig, Waterford, 2pm.
Bank of Ireland Munster Junior Bowl: Cobh Pirates v Dunmanway, Cobh, 2pm.
Douglas-Carrigaline v Clonmel, Wilton, 2pm.
Killarney v Sunday’s Well, Killarney, 2pm.
Munster Junior League Division 1: Abbeyfeale v Clanwilliam, Abbeyfeale.
Crosshaven v Galbally, Crosshaven.