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Munster Senior Cup Update
3 March 2005, 5:20 pm
Shannon and Garryowen will contest the Munster Senior Cup Final after defeating Cork Constitution and UCC over the weekend
MUNSTER SENIOR CUP SEMI FINAL

UCC 26 Garryowen 32

GARRYOWEN HOLD OFF UCC TO CONTEST MUNSTER SENIOR CUP FINAL

In a repeat of last year s Munster Senior Cup final, Garryowen will face defending champions Shannon after they defeated UCC in a tense game at Musgrave Park on Sunday.

Playing with the wind in the first half, Garryowen took control from early on, with scrum half Gerry Hurley going in for a try after just 4 minutes to give them a 5-0 lead. Just minutes later, UCC were awarded a penalty and put their first points on the board with out half Jeremy Manning slotting the ball over the crossbar. UCC struggled to settle into the game, although Denis Hurley at full back was kept busy early on and made some excellent clearing kicks. Garryowen certainly created more chances, but handling errors on their part gave UCC some relief in the early stages. UCC struggled to cover the pitch and were caught when Garryowen s prop Ross Callaghan made a superb break on the 10 metre line and went in for a try, which was converted by Hurley, stretching Garryowen s lead to 12-3.

Garryowen s dominance continued for the first half, with UCC forced to defend well inside their half and rarely getting into the Garryowen half. The UCC defence was breached again when Garryowen were awarded a scrum and after a break by captain Peter Malone at No. 8 and some excellent back play, the ball found its way into the hands of winger Alan Purcell who grounded the ball in the corner, giving Garryowen a 14 point advantage. UCC s flanker Ross Noonan and captain Robert Quinn worked hard to put some phases together, however, Garryowen were quick to the breakdown, and kept play deep inside the UCC half. A series of penalties at the half hour mark finally gave UCC an attacking platform. Scrum half Dave O Leary scored a fantastic try under the posts after UCC won their line out and had an excellent driving maul to the line. O Leary spotted the gap and went in for the try, which was converted by Jeremy Manning. Just when they thought the tide had turned, Garryowen went in for another try before half time, with flanker Kieran Gallagher grounding the ball after some great work by the pack. Gerry Hurley s conversion curled in to stretch their lead to 24-10 at the break.

Eight minutes into the second half, Frank Murphy took the field for UCC, and his presence seemed to give the college some edge. Jeremy Manning converted a penalty early in the half, only to have Garryowen s centre Kevin Hartigan reply with a fantastic try in the corner, after some great work by Ray Niland. The score read 13-29, but UCC came back with a number of scores to set up an exciting finale. Jeremy Manning was on target with a drop goal after a great take by second row Donnacha Ryan. UCC s opportunistic winger Ritchie Lane went in for a try after a quick lineout was taken on the 5 metre line, which was converted by Manning. With 20 minutes to go, and the score reading 23-29, it was all to play for.

Gerry Hurley and Jeremy Manning both kicked two penalties within minutes of each other, and UCC had a wasted opportunity when a knock on 7 metres out eased some pressure off Garryowen. UCC missed an attempt at goal close to full time which would have narrowed the deficit to three points. For the final minutes of the game, Garryowen kept play out of their own half, forcing UCC to defend, and they held on for a hard fought victory. Despite a fantastic second half performance, UCC will be disappointed that they took so long to settle in the first half. Garryowen did most of the ground work in the first half, setting up a fantastic victory, and giving them the chance to turn around last year s Senior Cup Final result when they face Shannon in the final. (Details tbc)

Garryowen: 15. A. Finn, 14. D. Heaton, 13. R. Niland, 12. K. Hartigan, 11. A. Purcell, 10. B. Treacy, 9. G. Hurley, 1. R. Callaghan, 2. P. Humphries, 3. R. Laffan, 4. F. Broderick, 5. D. Sheahan, 6. E. Nihill, 7. K. Gallagher, 8. P. Malone (Capt.). Substitutions: M. Melbourne for D. Sheehan, A. Kavanagh for K. Gallagher, B. O Brien for R. Niland.

UCC: 15. D. Hurley, 14. R. Lane, 13. D. Fitzgerald, 12. D. O Kane, 11. P. Hurley, 10. J. Manning, 9. D. O Leary, 1. T. Ryan, 2. R. Quinn, 3. V. Soden, 4. D. Ryan, 5. A. Laffan, 6. R. Noonan, 7. R. Geoghan, 8. H. O Flynn Substitutions: F. Murphy for D. O Leary, C. Murphy for D. Fitzgerald, M. Essex for R. Noonan

Referee: John Sheehan, MAR

MUNSTER SENIOR CUP SEMI FINAL

Shannon 26 Cork Constitution 3 Thomond Park, 1pm (Half time score: Shannon 8-3 Cork Constitution)

SCORERS: Shannon: David Delaney (3 pen, 1 con), Les Hogan (try), Tony Buckley (try), James Blaney (try) Cork Constitution: Darragh Lyons (pen)

SHANNON VICTORY KEEPS THEM ON TRACK FOR 6th CONSECUTIVE MUNSTER SENIOR CUP TITLE

Shannon are on course for their 6th consecutive Senior Cup title after sweeping aside Cork Constitution in Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon. The task of unseating the champions proved too much for Cork Constitution, with Shannon clearly signalling their intentions to retain the Cup with a comprehensive 26-3 win. With Shannon to meet the winners of UCC and Garryowen in the final, it will be a daunting task for either to cause an upset given the performance of the champions on Saturday.

Despite Cork Constitution playing with the wind in the first half, it was Shannon who opened the scoring after 11 minutes with a penalty converted by out half David Delaney. Cork Constitution s out half Darragh Lyons levelled the scores with a penalty, where the score line remained for much of the half. Some ill discipline shortly before the half hour mark left both teams down to 14 men, with Shannon s Stephen Keogh and Cork Constitution s Jody Gallagher both being yellow carded. Shannon took the initiative from that point, and a try from prop Tony Buckley from a line out 5 metres from the line gave Shannon an 8-3 lead close to half time. With Lyons missing a penalty kick just before half time, Shannon held onto their 8-3 lead at the break.

After the restart, it wasn t long before Shannon used the wind to full advantage. Delaney converted two penalties after 48 and 54 minutes to stretch further ahead. Shannon prop Les Hogan went in for a try after 62 minutes, which was converted by Delaney. Shannon were reduced to 14 men once again at 58 minutes when winger Ian Dowling was sin binned. Replacement hooker James Blaney sealed the victory at 74 minutes when he went over for a try to complete the scoring. However, before the final whistle was sounded, both Eoin Cahill for Shannon and Jean Vincent for Cork Constitution were both yellow carded.

Shannon s opponents in the Munster Senior Cup final will be decided when UCC play last year s runners up Garryowen in Musgrave Park on Sunday at 2.30pm.

FIXTURE: Sunday 20/03/05 Semi Final UCC v Garryowen, Musgrave Park, 2.30pm

TEAMS: Shannon 15. D. O Donovan, 14. I. Dowling, 13. A. Thompson, 12. E. Cahill, 11. F. McLoughlin, 10. D. Delaney, 9. F.O Loughlin, 1. L. Hogan, 2. N. Conroy 3. T. Buckley, 4. E. Halvey, 5. T. Hayes, 6. C. McMahon, 7 J. O Connor, 8. S. Keogh. Replacements: T. Creegan for D. O Donovan, G. McNamara for L. Hogan, J. Blaney for N. Conroy, B. Buckley for T. Hayes, F. McNamara for J. O Connor.

Cork Constitution 15. P. O Brien, 14. R. Collins, 13, J. Vincent, 12. C. O Mahony, 11. C. Healy, 10. D. Lyons, 9. J. Stringer, 1. J. Gallagher, 2. D. Fogarty, 3. M. Ross, 4. J. Moloney, 5. S. O Connor 6. R. O Donovan, 7. B. Cuttriss, 8. F. Cogan Replacements: J. Cullen for C. O Mahony, P. McNamara for J. Stringer, L. Hill for D. Fogarty, T. Ryan for M. Ross,

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