AIB League Division Two Final
6th May 2005 By Munster Rugby
UL Bohemian FC, appearing in their third Division Two final take on a St Mary’s College side who won 13-11 last time out when the sides met in the League in Thomond Park
AIB League Division Two Final (2 pm.)
UL-Bohemians v St. Mary s College
UL-Bohemians Captain: Aidan O Gorman. Head Coach: Mike Tewkesbury ( ENG ). Asst. Coach : Christy Neilan.
St. Mary’s College. Captain: David Clare / Barry Lynn. Head Coach: Steven Hennessy. Asst. Coach : Peter Smyth.
Second Division Champions UL Bohs face St Mary s determined to gain revenge for the defeat suffered in the league campaign when a conversion was waved wide which appeared to many to have been successful. The Dublin side, no doubt, will harbour such feelings also having been pipped of first place on the final day, despite leading the league for much of the series.
UL Bohs have selected the team which won the vital away game in Ballynahinch which clinched the title. Some doubts hang over full back Cathal Garvey who was a flu victim last week and missed the victory over Dolphin. Head coach Mike Tewkesbury had to make some very tough decisions in respect of scrum half, front row and the back row. Cillian O Boyle, having missed some recent matches through injury, has made way for Aidan Rees while Kevin Flanagan, Mike Harty and Mike Storey have all been playing excellently. The toughest call has been the back row, where John Ed O Connor and Ryan Hartigan have been playing brilliantly when called on, but have failed to dislodge the successful partnership of Aidan O Gorman, Philip van Esbeck and James O Neill. An interesting face among the replacements is Barry Murphy, whose last game was in the Munster League victory over Cork Constitution in Temple Hill in October.
The final composition of the replacements will be made on the morning of the game.
The UL Bohs team: 15 Cathal Garvey 14Ian Hanley 13Coleman Finn 12Martin McPhail 11Keith Matthews 10Ben Martin 9Aidan Rees 1Mike Harty 2Gordon Ryan 3Mike Storey 4Brian Madigan 5Anthony Hartigan 6Aidan O Gorman (Capt) 7Philip van Esbeck 8James O Neill Replacements: (From) Cillian O Boyle, Daithi Fitzgerald, Fergal Lawlor, Barry Murphy, Kevin Flanagan, Frankie Leonard, Ryan Hartigan, John Ed O Connor
Head coach: Mike Tewkesbury Assistant coaches: Christie Neilan, Mick McLoughlin, Noel Davis Team Manager: Packie Durkan Assistant Manager: Graham Burns Equipment Manager: Lar Hogan Issued by: Denis Ryan; PRO; UL Bohemian RFC
In the semi finaL, UL Bohemian FC had a comprehensive 32-10 win over Dolphin. The Limerick side opened the scoring after three minutes with a penalty from superb out half Ben Martin, who added to his tally with a try after 25 minutes. To their credit, Dolphin created a number of scoring chances throughout the first half, but were unable to get points on the score board. They came back at the start of the second half with a penalty from John O Mahony, with John Fitzgerald scoring a fantastic individual try after blocking down a Ben Martin kick. John O Mahony s conversion levelled the sides. Boh s centre Martin McPhail gave his team the edge when he intercepted a pass and ran the length of the field to score. Although Dolphin dug deep and showed tremendous heart, they were unable to stop UL Bohemian s progress to the final, with Cillian O Boyle and John Ed O Connor sealing their victory with tries before the end of the game.
FACTS: The regulation AIB League fixture between the two clubs took place this season on Sun. February 2, at Thomond Park. Result: UL-Bohemian 11 ( one try ) St. Marys C. 13 (one try) In the 2005 AIB League Division Two semi-finals played last weekend, UL-Bohemian beat Dolphin 32-10 at Thomond Park (Sunday) St. Mary s walkover UCC scratched at Templeville Road (Saturday) Beginning in 2002/03, the two clubs have met each other twice in League games with the honours shared equally beween them. The two clubs contesting the Final have already been promoted into Division One for the 2005/06 season. UL-Bohemian appear for the third time on Finals Day. They have lost two Division Two finals ( 29-43 to B. Harlequins and 22-23 to D. University ) in the recent past. On both occasions, the Limerick club arrived at Lansdowne Road after finishing runner-up in the League; this time they appear up as Div. Two League winners. St. Mary s are the only Leinster club to have won (1999/2000) the AIB League Division One title. St. Mary s have just become the sixth club to bounce back to premier status after one season in the second division. Current St. Mary s head coach, Steven Hennessy was reared in Limerick, educated at St Munchin’s College and actually played for Bohemians in the 1979/80 Munster Senior League and Senior Cup Finals. Mike Tewkesbury, formerly coach to Reading RFC in England, is finishing his fifth season as head coach to UL-Bohemian and next season will step up to the position of Director of Rugby at the club. The AIB League Division Two winner will receive a Union Plaque and a cash prize. Information compiled by Des Daly.