Friday 9 December 2016

Con quadruple bid leads push for silverware

Published 22/04/2016 | 02:30

Cork Constitution, Bateman Cup winners 2015
Cork Constitution, Bateman Cup winners 2015
Crescent College in BOI Munster Senior Cup semi final;

As the domestic season nears its closing stages, 2015/16 has provided Munster clubs with significant successes throughout the province with ongoing excitement promised for the remaining fixtures.

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Following last weekend's bonus-point victory over Galwegians at Temple Hill, Cork Constitution booked their place in the All Ireland League Division 1 play-off; the result cost the Galway side their place at the top table of Irish club rugby.

The victory secured the Cork club a home semi-final tomorrow against Young Munster, with Clontarf and UCD going head to head at Castle Avenue in the other last-four clash.

It will be the second consecutive AIL semi-final for the Cookies, who hope to go one better this year, following their defeat to eventual league winners Lansdowne.

Cork Constitution and Young Munster have met twice already in the league this season, with the Limerick side claiming victories by a one-point margin on both occasions.

In what promises to be a thrilling game of rugby from two formidable clubs, whatever the result, a Munster club will be guaranteed representation in the All Ireland League final on Sunday, May 8 at the Aviva Stadium.

As both clubs continue to impress in a number of competitions, Cork Constitution have reached their fourth consecutive Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup final and will meet the winners of Old Crescent and Young Munster in the other semi final.

Dominated

The winners will progress to represent the province in the All-Ireland Bateman Cup, a competition Munster clubs have dominated since 2010 and a title Cork Constitution have held since 2013.

As the Temple Hill club bid for four trophies this season, having already secured the Charity Cup earlier in the year, Con's Junior side will also be in action this weekend against Richmond RFC in the Junior Cup semi final. Should Con progress to the final they will book a date to battle it out with Young Munster for the prestigious title.

There are two Munster clubs competing in Division 2A of the All Ireland League play-off semi-finals this weekend.

UCC will travel to Banbridge while Cashel are away to Blackrock College. Both sides will be vying for a place in the final, with a win guaranteeing promotion to Division 1B.

Woodleigh Park side Highfield have already secured promotion to Division 2A and may be joined next season by fellow Cork club Sunday's Well.

Following their impressive 21-10 victory over Derry City at Judges Road last Saturday, the 'Well will host Greystones at Irish Independent Park tomorrow, in their bid for back-to-back promotions.

Division 2C winners Old Crescent have booked their place in 2B for next season. A win over neighbours Young Munster to reach the Bank of Ireland Munster Senior Cup final would be the icing on the cake.

AIL Play-off Fixtures

(Tomorrow, 2.30)

Division 1A semi-finals: Clontarf v UCD, Castle Avenue; Cork Constitution v Young Munster, Temple Hill

Division 2A Promotion play-off final: Sunday's Well v Greystones, Irish Independent Park

Division 2B Promotion play-off final: Tullamore v Wanderers, Spollenstown

Division 1A promotion play-offs: Dublin University v Ballymena; Ballynahinch v Buccaneers, Ballymacarn Park

Division 1B promotion play-offs: Banbridge v UCC; Blackrock College v Cashel

Irish Independent

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