Sunday 24th April 2005 Cork Constitution v UCC, Musgrave Park, 2.30pm
In an all Cork clash, Cork Constitution and UCC will contest the resceduled Heineken Munster Junior Cup Final on Sunday next, April 24th. With UCC chasing their first Munster Junior Cup title since 1979, the college will certainly be fired up for the final, while Cork Constitution will be determined to take back the title they last won in 2003. Cork Constitution took the first place in this year s Munster Junior Cup final after seeing off a determined Crosshaven in their semi final clash with a 15-9 win. In the other half of the draw, UCC put an end to Nenagh Ormond s hopes of defending their Munster Junior Cup title and adding it to their Munster Junior League First Division title with a 28-21 victory.
Despite both clubs being amongst the oldest in Munster, it s the first time they have met in a Junior Cup final. Constitution lost to Crescent College in the inaugural MJC final in 1909 and then lost a further four finals before eventually achieving success in 1949. Since then they have won regularly and lead the title holders with 15 victories. Their last win was in 2003 when they defeated last season s champions Nenagh Ormond. University College Cork first won in 1921 and have since won 10 titles in total with their last win in 1979. They contested the 1996 final, but lost out to Shannon on that occasion.
Full back Dave O Brien captains Cork Constitution s squad this year, and there are five survivors of the 2003 winning team: Niall Kenneally, Ian Doyle, Emmet Cassidy, Frank Cogan and John Stringer. Other players who have been at the forefront of this season s Cup campaign include out half and kicker Darragh Lyons, and centre Ronan O Donovan.
UCC had terrific wins in the Cup, with the half back partnership of Dave O Leary at scrum half, and Gareth Williams at outhalf working particularly well. Add to this mix the talent of centre Tom Gleeson, and Bandon's Daire Fitzgerald on the wing, who scored a hat trick of tries for the college in the first half of their semi final clash with defending champions, Nenagh Ormond. In the pack, captain Dave Harty at second row will return to the team having missed the semi final, with prop Fergus Gately, another Bandon man wing forward Michael Essex and No. 8 Billy Holland leading the charge.
The road to the final:
Cork Constitution FC: Rd 1 Cobh Pirates 22-3 Rd 2 Ballincollig 22-6 Rd 3 Thomond 8-3 QF Garryowen 23-13 aet SF Crosshaven 15-9
UCC RFC: Rd 1 Dungarvan 102-0 Rd 2 Midleton 23-6 Rd 3 Skibbereen 29-20 QF Kilfeacle 27-22 SF Nenagh Ormond 28-21