Jump to main content


Division One Final: The History

Division One Final: The History

Click here for a run down on previous Division One finals, winners, captains, referees and overall play-off statistics.

…Tom Hayes and his Shannon team mates collect the AIB League Division One trophy last May…


Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

After seven seasons during which the League winners were automatically crowned champions, AIB took on the sponsorship of the All-Ireland League and the Division One play-offs were introduced at the conclusion of the 1997/98 regulation League series. Over the past nine seasons, nine clubs (three each from Munster, Leinster and Ulster) have qualified for the finals of the competition – Shannon (five times), Cork Constitution (four times), Garryowen (twice), Clontarf (twice), St. Mary’s College, Lansdowne, Dungannon, Ballymena and Belfast Harlequins (all once).


SHANNON – 7 TIMES (1994/95, 95/96, 96/97, 97/98, 01/02, 03/04, 04/05)

GARRYOWEN – 2 TIMES (1991/92, 93/94)

CORK CONSTITUTION – 2 TIMES (1990/91, 98/99)

YOUNG MUNSTER – 1 TIME (1992/93), ST. MARY’S COLLEGE – 1 TIME (1999/00), DUNGANNON – 1 TIME (2000/01), BALLYMENA – 1 TIME (2002/03)


SHANNON – 5 SEASONS (1994/95 (with 100% record), 95/96, 96/97, 97/98, 04/05)

CORK CONSTITUTION – 4 SEASONS (1990/91, 2000/01*, 01/02*, 03/04*)

GARRYOWEN – 4 SEASONS (1991/92, 93/94, 989/99*, 05/06*)

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE – 1 SEASON (1999/00), YOUNG MUNSTER – 1 SEASON (1992/93), CLONTARF – 1 SEASON (2002/03*)

* Did not win play-off


1997/98 – Shannon 15 Garryowen 9; Captains: Anthony Foley, Killian Keane; Referee: David McHugh

1998/99 – Cork Constitution 14 Garryowen 11 (aet); Captains: Philip Soden, Killian Keane; Referee: David McHugh

1999/00 – St. Mary’s College 25 Lansdowne 22; Captains: Trevor Brennan, David O’Mahony; Referee: Alan Lewis

2000/01 – Dungannon 46 Cork Constitution 12; Captains: Allen Clarke and Paddy Johns, Ultan O’Callaghan); Referee: Alain Rolland

2001/02 – Shannon 21 Cork Constitution 17; Captains: David Quinlan, Ultan O’Callaghan; Referee: Alain Rolland

2002/03 – Ballymena 28 Clontarf 18; Captains: Russell Nelson, Warren O’Kelly; Referee: Alain Rolland

2003/04 – Shannon 22 Cork Constitution 16; Captains: Tom Hayes, Jerry Murray; Referee: Alan Lewis

2004/05 – Shannon 25 Belfast Harlequins 20; Captains: Tom Hayes, Jarlath Carey; Referee: Alan Lewis

…2002/03 champions Ballymena celebrate at Lansdowne Road…


* Cork Constitution (1998/99), Dungannon (2000/01), Shannon (2001/02, 2003/04) and Ballymena (2002/03) have won the play-offs but not the corresponding League series. Note that this ‘anomaly’ has arisen in Division One in four of the last five seasons.

* Until last season, Shannon had not won the League series since 1997/98 – the first season the play-offs were introduced. The Limerick club have yet to lose a play-off game, winning the title on the four previous occasions that they have qualified for this stage of the competition.

* Since the play-offs were introduced, only three (Shannon (twice) and St. Mary’s College) of the eight League winners have eventually been crowned champions. Cork Constitution (three times), Garryowen and Clontarf have been the clubs to lose out.

* Provincially, Munster have provided the champion club on 12 occasions – Ulster has provided the champions twice (2001 and 2003) and Leinster once (2000).

* On only two occasions – 1999/2000 and 2002/03 – over the past nine seasons have Munster failed to provide an end of season finalist.

* Clontarf have finished the League phase as a the top Leinster club in four of the past five Division One seasons.

* Three Leinster clubs (St. Mary’s College, Lansdowne and Clontarf) have previously appeared in an AIB League Division One final – 2006 is the first time a Leinster club plays a Munster one in the Division One Championship final.

* Cork Constitution have won the League series three times in the last six seasons and have gone on to be the losing finalist on each occasion.

* Statistics compiled by Des Daly