MATCH OF THE DAY
Cork Constitution v Old Belvedere,
Temple Hill, 2.30
THIS is the truest test of Old Belvedere's credentials yet this season as the league leaders head south to meet the champions.
The city of Cork has chosen this weekend to honour it's double-winning club of the year for 2010 with a civic reception, but Brian Walsh won't allow his charges to be distracted from their chance to leapfrog the Dubliners.
A late Sean Scanlon (pictured) drop goal was all that separated the sides at Anglesea Road last October, but Belvo are growing steelier and more confident by the match and they haven't lost since that day.
Dave Mongan will threaten on the wing, while the back-row of Jason Risdon, Richie Leydon and rising star Leo Avua'a have been rampaging around Ireland this season. Frank Cogan and co will have to win that battle in order to provide the platform for their exciting backs.
Con will be boosted by the fact that there are no Munster or Munster A matches this weekend and despite some shaky form in recent weeks, they should be able to return to the summit.
But a win for Belvedere is not beyond the realms of possibility by any means and would see their odds on taking the league shorten considerably. If they are to become the first Dublin side to win the title since St Mary's in 1999, it is days like this that will prove their mettle.
Verdict: Cork Constitution, narrowly
DOWN MEMORY LANE
January 24, 1998
Galwegians 15 Buccaneers 10
A CONNACHT derby like few others, this match was no classic, but some 4,000 people came to Glenina to see if the hosts could halt the Buccaneers juggernaut in the race for promotion from Division Two.
From the opening scrum the task looked mammoth as the Athlonemen, coached by Eddie O'Sullivan (pictured), destroyed the 'Wegians scrum for Noel Mannion to go on the charge -- to the delight of the huge travelling crowd. But led by Mervyn Murphy, Barry Gavin and Junior Charlie, the Galwaymen's defence held firm and the visitors grew frustrated.
Ultimately, the clash became a shootout and a test of discipline and it was the home side who won out, with Eric Elwood scoring all of their points. Buccs staged a late fight back to no avail, but they would put what would be their only defeat of the season behind them to win promotion to Division 1 with an aggregate play-off victory over Dungannon.
GALWEGIANS -- W Ruane; A Reddan, P Duignan, M Murphy, N Carolan; E Elwood, D Reddan; D Little, K Tierney, M Finlay; G Heaslip, P Casserly; J Casserly, B Gavin (capt), J Charlie.
BUCCANEERS -- T Stuart-Traynor; M Devine, C Gormley, G Johnson, R Lee; E Molloy, P Lynch; J Screene, J McVeigh, D Henshaw; M McConnell, B Rigney (capt); D Rigney, N Mannion, O Brennan.