| 11.8°C Dublin

Time to dream as Cup draws loom

It's that time of year again when the thoughts of the club rugby supporter start to wander towards the Cup. And tonight at 6.30pm the draw for the 1st round of the Newstalk Provincial Towns Cup will take place along with the Newstalk Metropolitan Cup in the RDS.

The Towns Cup is in its 85th season and will be defended by Boyne, who won it for the first time ever when they defeated Tullamore 27-21 in a memorable final held at Ashbourne Rugby Club last April.

This is the second year that Newstalk has sponsored one of the flagship competitions in the Leinster Branch and the involvement of the nationwide broadcaster is giving added lustre to the high prestige in which the Towns Cup, one the oldest rugby competitions in Ireland, is already held.

The Towns Cup has its roots in the Leinster Junior Challenge Cup, which was established in 1888, while the trophy itself was purchased in West's of Grafton Street for £25 four years later and is one of the oldest trophies in existence in Irish rugby.

It became the Provincial Towns Cup in 1926 ("for clubs at least 18 miles from the General Post Office in O'Connell Street") and has been run every season since.

Co Carlow lead the roll of honour with 12 victories, Skerries have lifted the prized jug on 11 occasions while Navan have 10 wins, one more than Dundalk.


For Boyne, a club formed as recently as 1997 by the merger of Delvin and Drogheda, it was a second appearance at the final stage while their Co Offaly opponents have won it four times, the last occasion being in 2006.

There will be 29 clubs in the drum this evening, which will give 13 first-round ties with three clubs receiving byes straight into round two.

The Towns Cup is a competition with a rich heritage and the final is still one of the great rugby gatherings of the season.

Players like Ciaran Fitzgerald, Jim Glennon and Geordan Murphy have graced the competition over the years and a Towns Cup medal is still a much sought after prize.

The best of luck to all those taking part.