Jump to main content


Division One Final Preview: Cork Constitution v Garryowen

Division One Final Preview: Cork Constitution v Garryowen

Between them, Cork Constitution and Garryowen have contested seven Division One championship finals, winning only one (Con in 1999). With neither club having won a league title this century, every inch is sure to be fought for in this Saturday’s decider at Musgrave Park.

AIB LEAGUE: Saturday, May 5


CORK CONSTITUTION v GARRYOWEN, Musgrave Park, 2.30pm (live RTE Two/www.rte.ie)
Referee: Alan Lewis (Leinster)

Division One – League History: Division One was introduced in October 1990 and has been in operation now for 17 seasons. Six different clubs have won the Division One league series with Cork Constitution and Shannon both achieving the distinction five times.

The 17 winners have been: Cork Constitution (five times), Shannon (five times), Garryowen (four times) and Young Munster, St. Mary’s College and Clontarf once each. i.e. four clubs from Munster and two from Leinster.

No club from Ulster or Connacht has managed to win Division One’s league phase. The AIB League Division One winner (of the regulation phase) receives a Union plaque.

Division One – Play-Off History: Coinciding with the first season of AIB sponsorship, the Division One play-offs were first arranged ten seasons ago, at the end of the 1997/98 league campaign.

Since then, Shannon have won the championship play-offs five times while Cork Constitution (1998/99), St. Mary’s College (1999/2000), Dungannon (2000/01) and Ballymena (2002/03) have all  been crowned champions on one occasion.

Saturday sees the fifth all-Munster club clash in the ten finals and the fourth Cork v Limerick affair – it is 2-1 to Limerick at the moment.

Cork Constitution, in 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2003/04, Clontarf (2002/03) and Garryowen (2005/06) have all won the league phase but failed to go on and clinch the championship. The winner of the AIB League Division One championship receives a Union trophy and 25 medals. Both finalists receive a cash prize.


* Recent form – last five AIB League games (most recent on the left): Cork Constitution: WWWWW; Garryowen: WWWWW
* The regulation AIB League fixture between the two clubs took place this season on January 6 at Dooradoyle. Cork Constitution won 12-11, despite Garryowen scoring the game’s only try
* Cork Constitution beat UL Bohemians 21-18 at Temple Hill in last weekend’s Division One semi-finals, while Garryowen got the better of Clontarf, winning 28-15 at Castle Avenue
* Beginning in the 1990/91 season, Saturday’s finalists have met each other 19 times in AIB League fare with the honours evenly distributed – nine wins each and one draw. The two most recent AIB League games between the two Munster rivals resulted in away wins
* For the sixth time in ten seasons and the third time in the last three seasons of play-offs, Saturday’s finalists did not finish first and second in the league phase
* Division One championship final appearances – Cork Constitution: four (one win); Garryowen: three (no win)
* Both clubs have won the Division One title twice – Cork Constitution in 1990/91 and 1998/99, and Garryowen in 1991/92 and 1993/94.
* Saturday will be the first Division One final not to be played at Lansdowne Road. The two finalists have met twice before in a play-off game, with Cork Constitution winning both – the 1998/99 final (14-11 after extra-time at Lansdowne Road) and the 2001/02 semi-final (43-17 at home at Temple Hill)
* Both clubs are two of only three sides that have been omni-present in Division One since its formation
* On January 26, 1991, Cork Constitution travelled to Dooradoyle for the concluding match of the first ever AIB League and beat Garryowen 9-3 in a winner-takes-all decider for the season’s honours

CORK CONSTITUTION have won seven of nine matches away from Temple Hill in AIB League or Cup competition, so far this season. Saturday’s game marks their sixth AIB League fixture against a Munster club this term – they are unbeaten in all five games so far, three of them on the road.

They have previous played 61 league games against Munster opposition and won 37 of those games for a 62% success rate. They have won 18 of their 27 league games against Munster clubs in Cork (70% success rate).

Over 15 Division One rounds this season, they have won the most matches (13) and scored the most points (369). Twice champions in the last century, Cork Constitution have lost three Division One championship finals in the past six years.

They lost 18-13 to Garryowen in the Munster Senior Cup final at Thomond Park on December 30 this season. Over the past two seasons, three Cork Con players have won AIB Club international caps – Cronan Healy, Merle O’Connell and Frank Cogan.

They have had six of their regular squad members capped by Munster this season – Tom Gleeson, Denis Fogarty, Timmy Ryan, Ross Noonan, Shane O’Connor and Brendan Cuttriss. They are currently ranked first of the 48 Irish senior clubs and first on the all-time AIB League list.


Founded: 1892
President: Colm Murphy
Sponsors: Smart Telecom
Coach: Brian Walsh (in his second season); Assistant Coach: Terry Kingston
Manager: Bobby Khan

2006/07 Squad – Back three: Denis Hurley, Richie Lane, Cronan Healy, Diarmuid O’Riordan
Centres: Dermot O’Kane, Tom Gleeson, David O’Leary, Daniel Nethery
Out-Halves: Darragh Lyons, Conor Quaid
Scrum Halves: Peter McKee, Duncan Williams John Stringer
Props: Timmy Ryan Colm Murphy, Tom Ryan
Hookers: Des Murray, Robert Quinn, Landy Hill, Denis Fogarty
Second Rows: Merle O’Connell, Ross Noonan, John Maloney
Flankers: Ed Leamy, Shane O’Connor, Brendan Cuttriss, Dave Daly
Number 8s: Frank Cogan (capt)

League Season So Far – Played 16, Won 14, Drawn 1, Lost 1, Points For 390 (48 tries, 30 conversions, 29 penalties and 1 drop goal), Points Against 245 (29 tries, 17 conversions, 19 penalties and 3 drop goals)

Top Points Scorers – Richie Lane 158 (10 tries, 21 conversions and 22 penalties); Daniel Nethery 47

2006/07 Try Record – R Lane 10, C Healy 7, R Quinn 4, D Hurley, Tom Ryan 3 each, D Nethery, E Leamy, Timmy Ryan, D O’Riordan, B Cuttriss, J Maloney 2 each, D O’Leary, R Noonan, T Gleeson, C Murphy, M O’Connell, P McKee, D O’Kane, C Quaid, F Cogan 1 each

GARRYOWEN, so far this season, have won six, drawn one and lost three of their ten AIB League and AIB Cup matches on the road. Saturday will see them play their fifth AIB League fixture against a Munster club this term – they have won three and lost one of the four games to date.

They have previously played 62 league games against Munster clubs and won 30 of those encounters for a 50% success rate. Over the past three-and-a-half seasons, they have won all six of their league fixtures on the road in Munster. Garryowen have, over the years, played 22 league games away in Cork and enjoyed 52% success there.

Over 15 Division One rounds this season, they conceded, along with Clontarf, the least amount of tries (18). Saturday’s tie marks their first appearance in a Division One championship final this century. They are striving for a first ever AIB League and Cup double, having lost three semi-finals in the past two seasons.

Over the past two seasons, five of their players have won AIB Club international caps – Ciaran O’Boyle, Kevin Hartigan, Gerry Hurley, Damien Varley and Peter Malone.

They have had five of their regular squad members capped by Munster this season – Eoghan Hickey, Eugene McGovern, Mark Melbourne, Chris Wyatt and John O’Sullivan. They are currently ranked third of the 48 Irish senior clubs and second on the all-time AIB League list.


Founded: 1884
President: Billy Purcell
Sponsors: Contract Cleaning Services Ltd.
Coach: Paul Cunningham (in his third season); Assistant Coaches: Killian Keane, Darragh O’Sullivan
Manager: Mark Keane

2006/07 Squad – Back three: Conor Kilroy, Willie Staunton, Adam O’Loughlin, Ciaran O’Boyle, Kevin O’Riordan
Centres: Kevin Hartigan, Conan Doyle, Federico Quaglia, Jamie Carroll, Alan McNamara
Out-Halves: Alan Kingsley, Eoin Hickey
Scrum Halves: Gerry Hurley, Cillian O’Boyle
Props: Rory Brosnan, Eugene McGovern, John Staunton, Liam Og Casey, Ross Callaghan, Declan Lavery, James Clifford
Hookers: Damien Varley, Pat Humphreys, Robert Coates, Ben Rowley
Second Rows: Mark Melbourne, Chris Wyatt, Frank Broderick, Ed Mackey, Donal Sheehan
Flankers: Paul Neville (capt), David Sherry, Anthony Kavanagh
Number 8s: John O’Sullivan, Peter Malone, Frank McKenna

League Season So Far – Played 16, Won 11, Lost 5, Points For 325 (37 tries, 25 conversions, 28 penalties and 2 drop goals), Points Against 190 (20 tries, 12 conversions, 18 penalties and 4 drop goals)

Top Points Scorers – Conor Kilroy 79 (12 conversions and 15 penalties); Eoghan Hickey 55, Gerry Hurley 25

2006/07 Try Record – Ciaran O’Boyle 7, A Kavanagh 6, D Varley 5, C Doyle, G Hurley 3 each, Cillian O’Boyle, A O’Loughlin, C Kilroy 2 each, M Melbourne, D Sherry, P Neville, F Quaglia, K O’Riordan, J O’Sullivan, L Og Casey 1 each

– AIB League Statistics supplied by Des Daly