Ulster Qualifying League leaders Armagh travel south to take on Cork club Crosshaven in the quarter-finals of the AIB Junior Cup this Saturday (Myrtleville Cross, kick-off 2.30pm). See below for a match preview.
AIB JUNIOR CUP QUARTER-FINAL:Saturday, February 10
CROSSHAVEN v ARMAGHMyrtleville Cross, 2.30pm
Referee: David Connolly (Leinster)
Location: Myrtleville Cross, Crosshaven, 12 miles from Cork city on the coast
Qualification: Alone amongst the four provinces, Munster used this season’s form to nominate their four contenders for the 2006/07 AIB Junior Cup’s first round. Crosshaven qualified by reaching the semi-finals of the Munster Junior Challenge Cup, which was run off last autumn.
Recent History: In the semi-finals of this season’s Munster Junior Challenge Cup, they beat Mallow 20-7 to reach the final which will be played at a future date.
AIB Junior Cup First Round: Came from 22-11 down to pip Monivea 23-22 in County Galway. Ross O’Connell (2) and Pierce O’Brien got the tries while winger Conor Deane landed a conversion and two penalties.
Munster Junior League: The 34-club Munster Junior League this season has reverted to its old format – 13 teams in Division One, eleven clubs in Division Two and ten clubs in Division Three.
With two games in hand, they currently lie in second place in Division One of the Munster Junior League, eight points behind Cobh Pirates who have completed their programme.
Their only defeat in ten games has been to Cashel while Cobh Pirates were numbered among their victims. They need to win their catch-up games, both at home and collect a bonus point to top the table and qualify for the end of season Round Robin series.
2006/07 Cup Form: They received a bye in the first round of the Munster Junior Cup, which was played on January 27. They won 30-10 at home to Charleville in the second round last weekend. Have been drawn away to Mallow in the third round.
Junior Interpro players: Merle O’Connell (dual status with Cork Constitution), Donagh Murphy and Paul Memery
President: Eddie Buckley snr.
Captain: Philip Spillane
Coach: Tommy Crowe
Foreign Players: Jake Grey (Samoa)
Sponsors: Martin Walsh Pharmacy, Supervalu, Carrigaline
Notes: The seasiders are one of two Munster clubs playing Ulster opposition this weekend. They are now benefiting from a successful youth programme
City of Armagh Statistics/Notes:
Location: The Palace Grounds, Armagh city
Qualification: By finishing fourth in the 2005/06 Ulster Qualifying League, Armagh were one of four Junior clubs entered by the Ulster Branch into the 2006/07 AIB Junior Cup’s first round draw.
Recent History: Have never won the Ulster Qualifying League but were runners-up to Rainey Old Boys two seasons ago. They competed in the inaugural AIB Junior Cup, won 27-24 at home to Naas in the quarter-finals but lost 14-10 away to Youghal in the semi-finals.
They beat Dungannon’s seconds in the Ulster Junior Cup final – 17-15 – last season. Have not played in an Interprovincial Round Robin series. They first played in the All-Ireland League in Division Four in 1993/94. They were demoted in ’97.
AIB Junior Cup First Round: Travelled to Ballina and won 28-3 with tries from Johnny Allen, Andy Winder and Joe Clarke supplemented by two conversions and three penalties by Johnny Steenson.
Ulster Qualifying League: They currently lie in first place in Section One of the Ulster Qualifying League, having won thirteen of their 14 games. The only defeat was away to Enniskillen, their bogey side. Are three points clear at the top and have a game in hand. Appear odds-on to win out and qualify for the Round Robin series in April.
2006/07 Cup Form: In the Ulster Towns Cup first round, they beat Larne 36-7. Followed this with a 60-0 victory over Portadown’s seconds. Have won four out of four in their Ulster Junior League Cup section this season and will compete with Dungannon seconds to qualify for the quarter-finals on March 31.
Junior Interpro players: Five players – centres Alan Redpath and Johnny Allen, prop Conor O’Neill, hooker James Johnston and flanker Joe Clarke – have featured for the Ulster Junior team in recent seasons
President: Ken Redpath
Captain: James Morton
Coach: Colin Steenson
Assistant Coach: Alan Johnston
Foreign Players: None
Sponsors: Drumeen Construction Ltd.
Notes: Their out-half Phil Polack (New Zealand) is now naturalised. Are touring the provinces as they played away in Connacht in the first round