21 Jan 17
Holders Cork Constitution are through to another Ulster Bank Bateman Cup Final, as Highfield keep their promotion hopes alive with a great win away to Banbridge.
St Mary's have home advantage as the venue for the final was decided by a coin toss between the two clubs in the IRFU offices. Cork Constitution will be hoping to complete a hat-trick of Munster Club wins as Bruff and Garryowen have won the last two finals.
Both teams have yet to win this trophy and the last time they meet in an all Ireland final was back in 2010 when Cork Constitution emerged victorious 17-10 after a thriller that went to extra time. The difference between the two sides was winger Cronan Healy who finished off a flowing counter attack for the match-winning score which sealed a first ever AIB League and Cup double for Cork Constitution. Ireland Internationals Peter O'Mahony, Stephen Archer and Simon Zebo played for Cork Constitution in that final.
Cork Constitution had to with stand a late comeback from Ballymena to win their semi final on a score line 13-20 while St Mary's were impressive 22-30 winners over Galwegians.
When the sides met home-and-away in the league phase, Cork Con won 22-13 at Templeville Road in January and St. Mary's emerged as 24-20 victors at Temple Hill in February.
Munster commitments have taken John Ryan and Ian Nagle out of equation for Cork Constitution however captained by Ireland's Club International captain Gerry Hurley the Cork side should still field a competitive team. Constitution will be hoping that Johnny Holland, James Ryan, Cathal O'Flaherty and Joe McSwiney will continue to impress.
Winger Cronan Healy is a proven match winner against St Mary's scoring four tries in the 2006 AIB CUP Final and his late winning score in the 2010 Final. Constitution coach Brian Walsh will be hoping for more of the same from the elusive winger.
Cork Constitution full back Darragh Lyons has become the most capped Constitution player in the All Ireland League since the series began in 1990/91. In the recent game against Clontarf he eclipsed Frank Cogan's total of 133 appearances. Darragh first played for the club against St Mary's College in 2004/05 season, and this season, he also played for the Ireland Club International team against Scotland.