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AIB Junior Cup Team News: Navan v Tullamore

AIB Junior Cup Team News: Navan v Tullamore

The Navan and Tullamore teams for Saturday afternoon’s AIB Junior Cup final have been announced. The game will kick-off at 1.30pm at Dubarry Park.

2007/08 AIB JUNIOR CUP FINAL: Saturday, April 12

NAVAN v TULLAMORE, Dubarry Park, 1.30pm

Click here for a full match preview

Navan player-coach Brad Harris has named a strong line-up for Saturday’s game in Athlone, with his side including himself and New Zealand half-back duo Ryan Roberts and Kieran Mattson.

Mattson and winger David Geraghty, who both scored tries during the Meath club’s recent 45-14 Presidents Cup win over Lansdowne, are two players to look out for in the back-line.

Simon Donnelly has been capped by Leinster at Junior interprovincial level and forms a solid centre partnership with Ronan Conaty.

Flanker Bernard Smyth is a very capable captain and is part of a well gelled back row unit that includes Thomas Clarke and powerfully-built Kiwi Sylvanus Iro.

Harris, who is in his second season at the helm, has made one change to the Navan pack that started against Lansdowne with Conor Brady coming in for Richie Reilly at hooker.

Navan skipper Smyth said: “Tullamore aren’t going to be easy. We’ve played them twice already this season, we did beat them in both but they certainly weren’t easy games.

“When it comes to Saturday we’re certainly going to have to keep our discipline because Gearoid (O’Grady), their number 10, is well able to kick from any area of the pitch.

“Ourselves and Tullamore, we know each other extremely well so I think it’s just going to be a matter of who keeps their discipline, who can play their game right and who can get the ball out wide because I know both team want to do that.

“Really it’s going to come down to discipline and hard work and fitness at the end of it,” added the Leinster Junior-capped forward.

Meanwhile, Tullamore have also confirmed their starting team for the game and it includes a couple of former Buccaneers players, including Gearoid O’Grady.

The 22-year-old out-half won a Connacht Junior Cup medal with Buccs last season but he is back now to spearhead Tullamore’s bid for All-Ireland success.

Speaking about Tullamore’s two defeats to Navan this season, O’Grady said: “On both occasions we could have beat them. In the Leinster League here (at Spollanstown) at the start of the season we were still a bit ring rusty and then in the Towns Cup match we gave them too much of a lead early on.

“I’d say the Towns Cup and AIB Junior Cup are on an even keel. From our point of view the Junior Cup is a national competition. We want to be seen as a senior club.

“That’s the aim of winning the Leinster League and obviously the Junior Cup is a chance to see where you stand in the overall scheme of things.”

Another ex-Buccs player, prop Eamon Bracken, has made the replacements bench as has fellow front rower Alvin Bracken. Both are younger brothers of Ireland ‘A’ prop Peter Bracken.

It is a family affair in the Tullamore back-line also with former Kilkenny College SCT players, Rory Deverell and Aaron Deverell, selected on the right wing and at inside centre respectively.

New Zealand recruit Rhys Morgan, who played for Taranaki ‘B’ last season, will line out at tighthead prop, while the third Deverell brother, Ivor, joins Leinster junior player Dave Hanlon in the second row.

Tullamore are captained by 39-year-old flanker Nigel Ravenhill, who led the club to Provincial Towns Cup glory in 2006.

In all, Tullamore boss Kevin Lewis has made just one change to the side that started the 13-5 AIB Junior Cup semi-final win over Clonmel – Rob Connor is preferred to David Milne for the openside flanker berth. 


15 – Karl Manning
14 – David Geraghty
13 – Simon Donnelly
12 – Ronan Conaty
11 – Thomas Geraghty
10 – Ryan Roberts
9 – Kieran Mattson
1 – Eoin King
2 – Conor Brady
3 – David King
4 – Brad Harris
5 – Des Crinion
6 – Thomas Clarke
7 – Bernard Smyth (capt)
8 – Slyvanus Iro


16 – Richie Reilly
17 – Eddie Dunne
18 – Sean Gallagher
19 – Shane Dawson
20 – Paul Regan
21 – Niall Welsh
22 – Simon Hogan

Coach: Brad Harris
Assistant Coach: Ryan Roberts
Managers: Karl Hogan, Collie Kiernan


15 – Dermot Galvin
14 – Rory Deverell
13 – Ivan Dunne
12 – Aaron Deverell
11 – Ivor Scully
10 – Gearoid O’Grady
9 – Richie Hughes
1 – Ronan Glennon
2 – Alan Lewis
3 – Rhys Morgan
4 – Ivor Deverell
5 – Dave Hanlon
6 – Nigel Ravenhill (capt)
7 – Rob Connor
8 – Donal Milne

Replacements (from):

16 – Derek Farrell
17 – Paul O’Grady
18 – David Milne
19 – Cathal Feighrey
20 – Eamon Bracken
21 – Alvin Bracken
22 – Liam Mealiffe
23 – Cian Glennon
24 – Darragh Lowrey
25 – Mark Whelan

Coach: Kevin Lewis
Assistant Coach: John Burns
Manager: Bob Keady

Referee: Simon McDowell (Ulster)

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