MATCH OF THE DAY
Cork Constitution v St Mary's
Temple Hill, 2.30
OLD Belvedere might lead the way at the midway point of the Division 1A season, but the bookies still rate last year's finalists as the two to watch, with champions Cork Constitution still favourites, despite a mid-season blip.
They had a similar run last season and recovered to do the double and again they look to have the strongest squad. Mary's have not been as strong as they were last year, but having lost Darragh Fanning, Rob Sweeney and Robin Copeland to the professional ranks it was never going to be easy. That said, Ciaran Potts' men have won their last four on the trot. Last year's final was a tight, epic affair and in anticipation of a big occasion, the Cork club are pulling out all the stops with a Gala Day in store and they'll be hoping for a bumper crowd.
Munster's omission of Billy Holland will boost the Con pack, but Ian Nagle has a virus. Scott Deasy and Simon Zebo (pictured) are in the back-line, while the returning Duncan Williams should be on the bench. It could go down to the wire but expect a return to form for the champions.
Verdict: Cork Constitution
DOWN MEMORY LANE
January 9, 1993
Young Munster 3
WHAT Declan Kidney would do to have props of the calibre of Peter Clohessy and Nick Popplewell (pictured) battling it out up front, and that's what the 7,000 spectators were treated to at Tom Clifford Park in 1993's first game.
Honours were even after an intense, low-scoring clash in which both sides opened the new year by losing ground on Cork Constitution. Colin Dunne gave Greystones a 3-0 half-time lead and they hung on against the elements to earn a point, Aidan O'Halloran levelling, but missing a 45m chance to win it. Young Munster would go on to be champions.
YOUNG MUNSTER -- G McNamara; J McNamara, F Brosnihan, N O'Meara, I Duggan; A O'Halloran, D Tobin, J Fitzgerald, P Clohessy; P Meehan, R Ryan; G Clohessy (capt), G Earls, D Edwards.
GREYSTONES -- M Carney; A Keyes, R Vance, S Sexton, P Quinn; C Dunne, C Heaney; N Popplewell, J Murphy (capt), M Phelan; C Woollam, R Boyd; D Rigney, A Dignam, V Megannety.
(Players who have played for both clubs in today's fixture)
Shannon v Blackrock: Trevor Hogan.
Galwegians v UCC: Jerry Flannery.
Terenure v DU: Barry Flynn.
Fixtures (2.30 unless stated)
Cork Constitution v St. Mary's, Temple Hill; Old Belvedere v Garryowen, Anglesea Road; Shannon v Blackrock, Coonagh; Young Munster v Dolphin, Clifford Park.
Dungannon v Buccaneers, Stevenson Park (2.0); Galwegians v UCC, Crowley Park; Lansdowne v Bruff, Aviva Stadium; UL Bohemian v Clontarf, Annacotty.
Ballymena v Thomond, Eaton Park (2.0); Ballynahinch v QUB, Ballymacarn Park; Bective Rangers v Malone, Doonybrook; Clonakilty v DLSP, The Vale; Corinthians v UCD, Corinthian Park; Midleton v Old Wesley, Towns Park; Old Crescent v Belfast Harlequins, Rosbrien; Terenure v Dublin University, Lakelands Park.
Ards v Rainey OB, Hamilton Park; Greystones v Suttonians, Dr Hickey Park; Naas v Connemara, Founaughts; Navan v Banbridge, Balreask Old; Nenagh Ormond v Wanderers, Nenagh; Seapoint v City of Derry, Kilbogget Park.