Both Limerick clubs had great victories last week. Garryowen caused a big upset when they travelled to Belfield and defeated a fancied U.C.D. side 20-9. They will again be under dogs going into this tie, after the Ulster side had an impressive win over Lansdowne and they will have to reproduce a similar performance if they are to reach the final. U.C.C. and Bruff have met twice in recent finals with each side recording a victory.
It was the students who came out on top in their league encounter this season on an 18-10 score line. Bruff staged a great recovery last week at home to Blackrock winning with an injury time try. The College were far from impressive in their 21-0 home victory over Cooke, but with some of their senior players available for selection, they should have the edge and reach another final.
Note that this game is going ahead on Saturday with a 1.00 kick off. There is a full round of games in the Third Division of the AIL. Highfield hold a two point lead at the top of this Division and make the long trip to Belfast to play Instonians and a win should put them into a good position ahead of their final game at home to Corinthians a week later. Clonakilty should finish their home campaign with a victory against Skerries.
Skibbereen are in a confident mood of reaching the final of the Cork County Cup, when they entertain holder's Cobh Pirates in the first semi-final. This has been a great season for the West Cork side, winning the Second Division in a dramatic finish. They were unlucky to lose to Bruff in both the Junior Cup and Junior Clubs Cup and are the form side at the moment.
The Pirates have been very disappointed with their season, losing at vital stages, that saw them never getting in the frame to challenge for honours. They will have to produce a top class performance if they hope to keep their title. Fermoy fresh from their victory over Mallow last week and promotion to the Second Division are away to Muskerry and are confident of reaching the semifinal
Muskerry after beating Fermoy in the O'Neill Cup Final have being going through a bad patch since and it is unlikely that they will repeat their Cup success earlier in the season. The other remaining quarter final tie is the all First Division clash between Crosshaven and Bandon which goes ahead at Crosshaven on Friday evening, kick off 6.00. Bandon having booked their place in the final of the Junior Plate Final, will be confident of keeping their good run going by reversing their league defeat earlier in the season.
Crosshaven have held a mid table position this season and after their great run of recent season's they will go all out to win this trophy to compensate for what is by their standards a poor season. Munster Junior Cup finalist's Nenagh Ormond will use the Mansergh Cup as preparation for their clash with Bruff in the decider. They travel to Thurles on Monday with a semifinal place awaiting the winners.
Clashes between these sides have always been close, so Nenagh can expect a close contest. Carrick-on-Suir entertain Clonmel in another quarter final tie and the visitors after their big win over Newport last week should advance. Both Bandon and Dolphin will be strongly fancied to reach the final of the Junior Two Cup. Dolphin play U.C.C. at Musgrave Park and the home side will be strongly fancied to see off the challenge of the students, while Bandon will be expected to defeat Muskerry at the West Cork venue, despite the Mid Cork side's surprising 10-6 win over league winners Cobh Pirates in the last round.
The semi-finals of the Dave Dineen Plate will be decided with Cork Constitution expected to beat Bantry Bay at Temple Hill and home advantage should see Ballincollig get the better of Youghal. Thomond meet Newcastle West at Bruff on Monday in the final of the O'Carroll Plate and the Limerick City side will start as favourites to pick up the trophy. Old Christians should move a step closer to a Cup and League double at Junior Three level, when they meet Bandon at Rathcooney in the semifinal of the Cup.
Killorglin meet Clonakilty in their postponed quarter-final tie, with the Kerry side expected to advance to a meeting against Tralee next week. Skibbereen should book their place in the final of the Junior Four Cup, when they face Corca Dhuibhne at the West Cork venue. Fermoy play Mallow on Friday night with Fermoy expected to reach the last four.
There are four ties in the Tait Cup. Shandon will be expected to beat Carrigaline. UCC should prove too strong for Bandon and Cork Transport should edge out Sunday's Well. The other tie is a quarter final tie with Castleisland expected to make their trip to Muskerry a winning one. Finally on Wednesday night next, Bruff will be hoping to win the McInerney Cup when they play Old Crescent in the final at Thomond Park.
FRIDAY 9th APRIL
Cork County Cup: Crosshaven v Bandon,Crosshaven,6.00;
Junior Four Cup: Fermoy v Mallow,Fermoy,7.00;
Casey Cup: Clonmel v Cashel,Clonmel,6.00;
Evans League: Kilfeacle v Clanwilliam,Kilfeacle,5.00; Thurles v Nenagh Ormond,Thurles,6.00;
East Munster Under 18 Semifinal: Kilfeacle v Nenagh Ormond,Kilfeacle,6.30;
Under 16 Cup: Kanturk v Bandon,Kanturk,11.30;
Under 16 Friendly: Dungarvan v Hayes,Dungarvan,4.00;
SATURDAY 10th APRIL
AIB League Division 3: Banbridge v Ballina,Rifle Park,2.30; City of Derry v Ards,Judge Road,2.30; Clonakilty v Skerries,Shannon Vale,2.30; Corinthians v Greystones,Corinthian Park,2.30; Instonians v Highfield,Shaws Bridge,2.30; Naas v Connemara,Fournaughts,2.30; Portadown v Suttonians,Chambers Park,2.30; Wanderers v Queens University,Lansdowne Road,2.30;
Under 20 Millennium Cup Semifinals: Belfast Harlequins v Garryowen,Deramore Park,2.30; U.C.C. v Bruff,Mardyke,1.00;
Junior Friendly: Dungarvan v Grasshoppers,Dungarvan,2.30;
SUNDAY 11th APRIL
Munster Senior Cup Final: Garryowen v Shannon,Thomond Park,3.00;
Cork County Cup: Skibbereen v Cobh Pirates,Skibbereen,3.00; Muskerry v Fermoy,Muskerry,3.00;
Mansergh Cup: Carrick-on-Suir v Clonmel,Carrick-on-Suir,3.00;
Junior Two Cup Semifinals: Dolphin v U.C.C.,Musgrave Park,12.00; Bandon v Muskerry,Bandon,12.00;
Junior Two Plate Semifinals: Cork Constitution v Bantry Bay,Temple Hill,3.00; Ballincollig v Youghal,Ballincollig,3.00;
Junior Three Cup: Killorglin v Clonakilty,Killorglin,3.00; Old Christians v Bandon,Rathcooney,3.00;
Junior Four Cup: Fermoy v Mallow,Fermoy,12.00; Skibbereen v Corca Dhuibhne,Skibbereen,3.00;
Tait Cup: Carrigaline v Shandon,Carrigaline,3.00; Muskerry v Castlisland,Muskerry,3.30;
Under 20 Cup: Young Munster v U.L. Bohemian,Clifford Park,3.00; Newcastle West v Thomond,Newcastle West,3.00;
Junior Friendly: Kinsale v Brentwood,Kinsale,3.00;
MONDAY 12th APRIL
Mansergh Cup: Thurles v Nenagh Ormond,Thurles,3.00;
O'Carroll Plate Final: Nenagh Ormond v Newcastle West,Bruff,3.00;
Tait Cup: U.C.C. v Bandon,Curaheen Road,3.00; Cork Transport v Sunday's Well,Musgrave Park,3.00;
WEDNESDAY 14th APRIL
McInerney Cup Final: Bruff v Old Crescent,Thomond Park,7.30;
Under 16 Cup: Sunday's Well v Kanturk/Bandon,Musgrave Park,6.30;