Club scene: Match of the day
Cork Constitution v Dolphin
Temple Hill, 2.30
Going head-to-head with an Ireland international match is of no consequence in Cork, where the derby takes precedence this afternoon. Dolphin make the short trip to Temple Hill with traumatic memories of the fortnight last season where two matches at the venue effectively ended their season.
Things aren't looking any brighter for the 'Fins this campaign as James Coughlan's Munster involvement and the departure of Nick Williams to Italy have robbed them of ballast in the back-row. They have only won one game so far, but two losing bonus points suggest they are at least competitive.
Con are flying once again, with 18 points from a possible 20 this campaign. The champions look ominously strong and despite last year's first ever league defeat to Dolphin away from home, their record in this fixture remains unblemished.
Three of Con's four wins came away at St Mary's, Blackrock and Shannon and if that's not the form of champions, then what is? That they suffered a mid-season slump last season will be on Brian Walsh's mind, but a lack of focus will hardly come at derby time. Their Academy contingent will be led by Ian Nagle (above) in the second-row, while Simon Zebo will be putting the pace into the back-line alongside veterans Cronan Healy and Richie Lane.
Verdict: Cork Con
DOWN MEMORY LANE
December 21, 1996
St Mary's 13 Shannon 11
For the second successive season, Shannon travelled to Templeville Road as unbeaten champions, and left with their first defeat of the season.
The Dubliners maintained their perfect start in dramatic fashion, coming back from 11-6 down thanks to Dave Lyons' try, two minutes from time. The left-winger took Gareth Gannon's pass to score and Craig Fitzpatrick nailed the winning conversion.
Shannon kept going and Eddie Halvey was bundled into touch as he went for the corner in the final act of a tense finale. Ciaran Fitzgerald's men were led by an impressive Kevin Potts performance, while Denis Hickie (above) put in a good shift on the wing.
ST MARY'S -- K Nowlan; D Hickie, G Gannon, R McIlreavy, D Lyons; F Campion (C Fitzpatrick 38), E McCormack; B Keane (capt), B Browne (C Breslin 20), E Byrne; S Jameson, K Potts; M Reilly, F Fitzgerald (M Cuddihy 38), K Devlin.
SHANNON -- P Murray; W O'Shea (Jason Hayes 80), A McGrath, C McDermott (capt), A Thompson; J Galvin, S MacGoey; D Costello, J Deegan, N Healy; K Maher (John Hayes 62), M Galwey; E Halvey, A Quinlan, A Foley.
AIl LEAGUE DUALS
Players who have lined out for both clubs in today's games
Cork Constitution v Dolphin
Tomas O'Leary (right), Paul McCarthy, Conor Mahony, Cian Mahony, Ollie Barrett, Denis O'Dowd.
St Mary's v Garryowen
Nicky Barry, Tony Ward.
(2.30 unless stated)
Cork Constitution v Dolphin, Temple Hill; Old Belvedere v Shannon, Anglesea Road, 4.30; St Mary's College v Garryowen, Templeville Road, 6.0; Young Munster v Blackrock College, Clifford Park. Tomorrow: Clontarf v UCC, Castle Avenue.
Dungannon v Lansdowne, Stevenson Park; Galwegians v Bruff, Crowley Park; UL Bohemian v Buccaneers, Annacotty.
Ballynahinch v Thomond, Ballymacarn Park; Bective Rangers v DLSP, Donnybrook; Belfast Harlequins v Old Wesley, Deramore Park; Clonakilty v Ballymena, The Vale; Corinthians v Malone, Corinthian Park; Midleton v UCD, Towns Park; Old Crescent v Dublin University, Rosbrien; Terenure College v Queens University, Lakelands. Tomorrow: Bective Rangers v DLSP, Donnybrook.
Ards v Navan, Hamilton Park; Instonians v Naas, Shane Park; Nenagh Ormond v Seapoint, Nenagh; Rainey Old Boys v Greystones, Hatrick Park; Sunday's Well v City of Derry, Musgrave Park; Suttonians v Highfield, Station Road; Wanderers v Banbridge, Merrion Road. Tomorrow: NUIM Barnhall v Connemara, Parsonstown.