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Con aim to repeat title success

Cork Con begin their defence of the Ulster Bank League Division 1A title with the beginning of their season on September 16. Photo: Getty Images/Stockphoto
Cork Con begin their defence of the Ulster Bank League Division 1A title with the beginning of their season on September 16. Photo: Getty Images/Stockphoto

Daragh Small

Cork Con will look for back-to-back Ulster Bank League Division 1A titles when their season gets under way on September 16.

No club has won consecutive titles since Shannon's three-in-a-row season of 2005-'06, but Con will be keen to be this year's standard-setters.

Even though they only finished fourth after the regular season in the top tier last term, they qualified for the final, and young out-half Tomás Quinlan kicked 20 points as they secured a stunning 25-21 victory over favourites Clontarf in the decider.

Young Munster also reached the play-offs, having finished third, but they lost out to Clontarf in the semi-finals. They will be back for revenge, while Garryowen also take their spot back in Division 1A after finishing a lowly ninth.

Meanwhile, Dolphin, Shannon, UCC and UL Bohemians will all battle it out for promotion from Division 1B. Dolphin and Shannon both had poor campaigns and will hope to stave off relegation while UL Bohs are likely to go close again.

Highfield finished second in Division 2A last season and are seeking promotion again this term while they will have Tipperary rivals Cashel and Nenagh Ormond for company in the third division.

Sunday's Well were relegated and they take up their place in Division 2B for the coming season. Old Crescent are the only other Munster side in that division and both sides will find it difficult in a competitive division.

Thomond dropped out of Division 2B last season and they will begin their campaign in 2C. There they will face off against fellow Munster outfit Midleton, while Kanturk were one of the two teams to plunge out of the Ulster Bank League at the end of 2016-'17.

Irish Independent

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