AIB's Jim Kelly and IRFU President Andy Crawford react as Shannon are pitted against Cork Con
The draw for the inaugural AIB All-Ireland Cup was made at Lansdowne Road on Thursday and it threw up some mouth-watering ties.
In undoubtedly the clash of the first round, AIB League Division One champions Shannon will play their great Munster rivals Cork Constitution on Sunday, December 18. Another plum fixture is the clash of Division One sides Buccaneers and Ballymena in the only preliminary round tie (Saturday, November 12).
Shannon are currently locked on 13 points apiece at the top of Division One, with scoring difference putting the Limerick giants in first.
The AIB Cup's first round, which takes place over the weekend of December 17-18, will also see Tipperary club Cashel, the only junior club in the competition, face top flight regulars Galwegians at Crowley Park.
Following the completion of the first round, the winning teams will again be entered into an open draw for the AIB Cup quarter-finals, which will be played on Saturday, February 11, 2006.
The quarter-final winners will go into a third open draw for the semi-finals, which will be played on Saturday February 25. The new competition culminates with the AIB Cup Final on Saturday, April 8.
The full draw for the 2005/06 AIB Cup is as follows:
Preliminary Round, Saturday, November 12
Buccaneers v Ballymena
First Round, Saturday, December 17
De La Salle Palmerston v Winners of Buccaneers/Ballymena
Clontarf v Dungannon
Shannon v Cork Constitution (Sunday, December 18)
Galwegians v Cashel
Terenure College v Ulster 4
Dolphin v Garryowen
Belfast Harlequins v Suttonians
Greystones v St Mary's College
Quarter-finals, Saturday, February 11, 2006
Semi-finals, Saturday, February 25
Final, Saturday, April 8