Festive break on hold as Con and Garryowen go head to head in Senior Cup final
While most of Munster's Ulster Bank League clubs will be taking a well-earned rest this week, the competitive action doesn't end for Cork Con and Garryowen who meet in the ODM Financial Munster Senior Cup final tonight.
Thomond Park will be a hive of activity (7.30) as the two most successful sides in the competition's history -- Garryowen have 38 wins and Cork Can have 24 -- battle it out.
If AIL Division 1A form is to be viewed as a barometer, there can only be one winner though, as sixth-placed Con should be too strong for bottom side Garryowen. But the Limerick men will look on tonight's game as the perfect way to kick-start their season, away from the pressures of the league.
One spot ahead of Con in the standings are Young Munster, who have been most impressive on their way to five wins from eight league games this season, while a youthful Dolphin outfit will hope to add to their four wins and seventh place in the new year.
In Division 1B, Shannon players can afford an extra slice of turkey as they don't return to league action until the last weekend in January, with last weekend's 20-5 win over Trinity their third in a row as they hope for an immediate return to the top flight.
UL Bohs will face Blackrock on the first weekend in January and after ending the year with a total of five wins, and in fourth place, they are perfectly positioned to plot their way back to 1A.
In Division 2A, UCC and Cashel continue to fly the Munster flag, while Bruff and Highfield will be very keen to hit the ground running in 2014 as they occupy the bottom two positions in the standings, making relegation the likely return for their campaign unless they can turn their fortunes around.
And in Division 2B, Nenagh Ormond and Thomond will be keen to carry this year's form forward, which should put in them in fine shape towards the end of the season.