Cookies eye repeat feat in final against Bandon
It's been two massive seasons thus far for Bandon and Young Munster, which they will be hoping to cap off with silverware when they face off in the Munster Junior Cup final on Sunday at Thomond Park (KO 2.30).
It's a repeat of last year's semi, which saw the Cookies defeat their West Cork opponents 19-7 at Tom Clifford Park, but the side on the banks of the River Bandon will be buoyed by their semi-final defeat of Clonmel.
Both clubs have tasted defeat at final stages as Bandon lost out in the Junior Clubs Challenge Cup final to Kilfeacle and District a few weeks ago, while at Senior level the Cookies were thwarted by Cork Constitution for the second year running in the final of the Munster Senior Cup.
Another Cork challenge awaits the Limerick outfit in this final; however on this occasion they will at least be playing closer to home, Thomond Park set to host the final on-field domestic occasion for the 2017 season. The pressure will be on the Cookies, too, having been defeated in the semi-final of the Munster seconds league by Highfield, having gone unbeaten in their northern division. They have quite a pedigree behind them, and come in as champions following their defeat of Cork Con in 2016, they squeezed past Clanwilliam in the semi-final by a point, and will be looking to earn some silverware as their senior side look destined for the final stages of the AIL Division 1A.
Bandon, too, will be desperate to claim some silverware for the final time in what has been a break-out season for the West Cork club. With Bandon Grammar School reaching a historic inaugural Munster Schools Senior Cup semi-final, and the Old Chapel side already stunning Munster Junior Division 1 champions Clonmel in the semis, there will be a huge crowd travelling up to support the boys in blue.
Régis Sonnes' side actually lost their first two games of the season, but went down just once in their subsequent 10 encounters in the league, that a tricky away assignment to eventual runners-up Newcastle West, and they hammered Old Christians 73-14 at Rathcooney to cement a third-place finish, just six points off champions Clonmel.
Tickets cost €10 for adults and €5 for children.