Club scene: All-Ireland League uncovered
St Mary's v Cork Constitution,Templeville Road, 2.30 ST MARY'S go into this repeat of last year's final knowing anything less than a win would leave their title ambitions in peril.
The Dubliners are looking over their shoulders in third at a revived Young Munster, who have the luxury of waiting 24 hours and seeing the state of play before taking on Dolphin tomorrow. Just two points separate today's hosts and the Limerickmen and Ciaran Potts' charges have to play the top two in their final two games, starting today against Con.
In an interesting twist, a host of the players who do battle today were celebrating together last weekend when the Ireland club side beat England Counties at Anglesea Road. Frank Cogan (above) and Gerry Hurley of Cork Con may have combined with Hugh Hogan, Richie Sweeney, Damian Hall and Matt D'Arcy last week, but there will be little love lost today.
A big crowd is expected for 'Ladies' Day' in Templeogue and the momentum and need to win may just swing it for the hosts.
Verdict: St Mary's
DOWN MEMORY LANE
May 4, 2002
Shannon 21, Cork Constitution 17
AFTER a short spell in the wilderness as the focus began to move from club to provincial rugby, Shannon recaptured their crown in the final at Lansdowne Road after a five year wait for glory.
Two sides packed with the players who would drive Munster -- and indeed Ireland -- in the years to come fought out a close match that saw the Limerick men roar into the lead and then defend as if their lives depended on it when Cork Con came back at them.
Colm McMahon (above) and John Lacey crossed for Shannon in the first half, and John Kelly scored Con's only try as they trailed 18-7. Con fought back to within a point, but Niall McNamara's drop goal sealed the win for Shannon.
CORK CONSTITUTION -- B Walsh; D Dillon, J Kelly, Cian Mahony, A Horgan; Conor Mahony, B O'Meara; I Murray, F Sheahan, J O'Driscoll; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll; J Sheahan, U O'Callaghan, J Murray.
SHANNON -- J Lacey; T Cregan, M Lawlor, A Thompson, M McNamara; N McNamara, D Hegarty; M Horan, J Blaney, J Hayes; B Buckley (M Galwey 55) T Hayes; A Quinlan, D Quinlan (capt), C McMahon.
Ref -- A Rolland (IRFU).
Players who have played for both clubs in today's games:
Blackrock v Shannon: Trevor Hogan
Ballymena v Belfast Harlequins: Johnny Cupitt, Ryan Milligan, Greg Mitchell, Jarlath Carey.
UCC v Galwegians: Jerry Flannery (right)
Cork Constitution 6/4, Old Belvedere 23/10, St Mary's 7/2, Clontarf 6/1, Young Munster 8/1.
(2.30 unless stated)
Division 1A: Blackrock v Shannon, Stradbrook; Garryowen v Old Belvedere, Dooradoyle; St Mary's v Cork Constitution, Templeville Rd; Tomorrow: Dolphin v Young Munster, Musgrave Pk, 2.30;
Division 1B: Bruff v Lansdowne, Kilballyowen Pk; Buccaneers v Dungannon, Dubarry Park; Clontarf v UL Bohemian, Castle Ave; UCC v Galwegians, Mardyke;
Division 2: Ballymena v Belfast Harlequins, Eaton Pk; Ballynahinch v Old Crescent, Ballymacarn Pk; Bective Rangers v Corinthians, Donnybrook, 5.0; Clonakilty v Midleton, The Vale; QUB v Malone, Dub Lane; Terenure v Old Wesley, Lakelands Pk; Thomond v UCD, Fitzgerald Pk;
Division 3: Banbridge v Highfield, Rifle Pk; NUIM Barnhall v Ards, Parsonstown; City of Derry v Instonians, Judges Rd; Connemara v Nenagh Ormond, Monastery Field; Greystones v Naas, Dr Hickey Pk; Navan v Seapoint, Balreask; Sunday's Well v Rainey Old Boys, Musgrave Pk; Suttonians v Wanderers, Station Rd.