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AIB Junior Cup: Semi-Final Previews

AIB Junior Cup: Semi-Final Previews

Two Leinster v Munster clashes involving four of the top junior clubs makes for two mouth-watering AIB Junior Cup semi-finals this weekend. IrishRugby.ie previews the action.

First up is the clash between Crosshaven and Navan. Two cup-winning sides in action as Crosshaven are the current Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup holders while Navan are the reinging champions in the Leinster Provincial Towns Cup.

Crosshaven v Navan, Saturday, March 8, kick-off 3.30pm


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This is their second season in the AIB Junior Cup – they lost in the quarter-finals last year to eventual champions Seapoint.

In this season’s first round,  they won 20-0 away to Kanturk with two tries – one from Liam Delaney, a conversion by Peter Morrissey and two penalties from Delaney after the first game was postponed and the second abandoned.

They won 19-10 away to Sligo in the quarters when Jake Grey, Eamonn Ring and Bobby Rodgers scored the tries with Liam Delaney adding two conversions.

They won the 2006/07 Munster Junior League and went into the Junior Clubs’ Interprovincial Round Robin. Lost 24-13 at home to Naas, lost 19-9 away to Monivea and lost 33-3 at home to Armagh. Note that they had beaten both Monivea and Armagh in the AIB Junior Cup earlier on in the season.

Crosshaven won 12-8 away to Clonmel last Sunday in Division One of the Munster Junior League. In that league so far, they have played ten games, won nine and lost one for a points tally of 39. If they win their catch-up game against Newport, they will finish runner-up to Cashel.

President: Gavin Deane, a nephew of Tom Kiernan
Captain: Michael Buckley, second row
Coach: Brian O’Connell and Richie Daly


This is Navan’s first season in the AIB Junior Cup. In round one, they won 27-17 away to Armagh with tries from out-half Ryan Roberts, winger Niall Walsh, number 8 Silvanus Siro and scrum half Kieran Mattsson with Roberts adding two conversions and a penalty goal.

At home to Clogher Valley in the quarter-finals, they won 27-18 with Ryan Roberts scoring a try, three conversions and two penalties. Simon Donnelly and Karl Manning added further tries.

Navan beat Skerries in the 2007 Leinster Provincial Towns Cup final. They have played in 14 of the 82 Towns Cup finals winning nine of them.

They will play Wicklow in the 2008 semi-final on March 23, having beaten Gorey and Tullamore, who also feature in this season’s AIB Junior Cup semi-finals. They lost 9-0 away to Skerries last Sunday.

So far this season they have played eleven games, won eight, drawn one and lost two for a 38-point tally to finish third in Leinster League Division One. They have also qualified for next season’s AIB Junior Cup.

President: Michael Brecknell
Captain: Bernard Smyth, flanker
Player/Coach: Brad Harris, second row

The second semi-final is another Interprovincial clash – this time in the heartland of Leinster provincial rugby as Clonmel travel up to Tullamore.

Tullamore v Clonmel, Sunday, March 9, kick-off 2.30pm 


This is Tullamore’s second season in the AIB Junior Cup. They lost in the first round last season to Coleraine. This season in round one, they won 37-3 at home to Monivea. Scored six tries through centre Ivor Scully, second Ivor Deverell, winger Paul O’Grady, full-back Dermot Galvin, winger Rory Deverell and repplacement Eoghan Clavin. Out-half Gearoid O’Grady added two conversions and a penalty goal.

They won 20-16 at home to the holders Seapoint in the quarters – Richie Hughes and Rory Deverell bagged the tries while Gearoid O’Grady kicked two conversions and two penalties.

Tullamore won the Provincial Towns Cup two seasons ago – it was their fourth title in that competition. They were beaten by fellow AIB Junior Cup semi-finalists Navan in this year’s competition.

Having played eleven games, won six, drawn one and lost four, Tullamore have amassed 29 points to finish fourth in this season’s Leinster League Division One. They have also qualified for next season’s AIB Junior Cup.

President: Damien Mealiffe, a former club captain
Captain: Nigel Ravenhill who plays in the second row or back row
Coach: Kevin Lewis


This is Clonmel’s first season in the AIB Junior Cup. Clonmel qualified by reaching the semi-finals of the 2007/08  Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup earlier on this season.

In round one of the AIB Junior Cup, they won 32-14 away to Boyne with tries from David Joyce, Brendan Mullen, Niall Grogan and scrum half John Long, with Morgan Lyons kicking three conversions and two penalty goals.

At home to Westport in the quarters, they won 12-3 with penalty goals from Morgan Lyons (3) and Conor Cooney. They lost out to fellow semi-finalists Crosshaven in this season’s Munster Junior Clubs Challenge Cup final, having beaten Newport, Youghal, Cashel and Kanturk along the way.

They lost 12-8 at home to Crosshaven in Munster Junior League Division One last Sunday. Clonmel have completed their campaign, placing fourth thanks to nine wins and two defeats in eleven games.

President: Tom Nugent
Captain: John Long, number 8
Coach: Fergus Timmons