Galwegians will be hoping to turn their form against Shannon on its head this weekend as they host the Munster giants in an intriguing AIB Cup semi-final, which was postponed on March 8 due to an unplayable pitch at Crowley Park.
2007/08 AIB CUP SEMI-FINAL: Saturday, April 5
GALWEGIANS v SHANNON, Crowley Park, 2.30pm
Galwegians have not beaten Shannon in their last five outings but they will be hoping that home advantage will help them beat the eight-time league winners in the AIB Cup semi-final.
This is ‘Wegians’ first semi-final in this competition, having lost to Shannon in the first round last year and to Garryowen at the quarter-final stage in the inaugural season of 2005/06. They are drawn at home again this weekend as they were in the three previous rounds.
The Galway side have lost their last five AIB League fixtures with Shannon. They first played in the AIB League against Shannon in March 1999 at Thomond Park. In contrast to their AIB Cup results, they have not managed a home AIB League victory since December 8.
‘Wegians have already won the Connacht Senior Cup this season and are the only Connacht club left in this season’s AIB Cup.
The story at home in AIB competitions so far this season is: played 10, won 5, drawn 1 and lost 4. Galwegians are currently in 13th place in the AIB League Division One table and are not yet out of the woods regarding relegation. They lost 13-5 at home to Cork Constitution at home last weekend.
MOST POINTS IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Liam Bibo 60
MOST TRIES IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: John Cleary 6
Shannon, perennial cup specialists and the current Munster Senior Cup champions, will actually be bidding for their first final appearence in the AIB Cup. They lost in the first round to Cork Constitution in 2005/06 and to Belfast Harlequins in the semis last year.
They got their revenge this year beating ‘Quins in the opening round before knocking out UCC to reach the semi-final stage.
Shannon have won eight league titles. On Saturday they will be playing away in the cup for the fourth time this season. They won 15-14 on their most recent AIB League visit to Crowley Park, back in October 2006.
They have visited Galwegians three times in the AIB League and won on every occasion. Shannon are the only Munster club to have reached this season’s semis and remain on course for a title treble at senior level this season.
Andrew Thompson is the top scorer in all AIB Cup competitions to date with 71 points. The story on the road in AIB competitions so far this season is: played 11, won 8 and lost 3. Shannon are currently in second place in AIB League Division One and booked their place in the play-off semi-finals by beating UCD 43-14 last weekend.
MOST POINTS IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Andrew Thompson 147
MOST TRIES IN 2007/08 AIB LEAGUE AND CUP TO DATE: Stephen Kelly 10