For the second year in-a-row, Cork Constitution and Garryowen will contest the AIB League Division One final. Sealing Munster’s dominance of the top flight, Con ended Clontarf’s interest in the league with a 17-3 victory at Temple Hill, while Garryowen ran out convincing 31-6 winners over their arch rivals Shannon at Coonagh.
Cork Constitution took their chances when they came, with winger Cronan Healy, prop Tim Ryan and full-back Richie Lane helping themselves to tries, as they accounted for Clontarf in Saturday’s semi-final at Temple Hill – gaining revenge for their defeat to the same opposition in the 2006 play-offs.
At a packed-out Coonagh, Garryowen hardly put a foot wrong as they kept their grip on the Division One title and ended Shannon’s AIB League and Cup double dreams in the process. Dara O’Sullivan’s men played the smarter rugby, using the wind well in the first half to claim a 14-3 interval lead.
Shannon coach Mick Galwey said afterwards that his side ‘did not do themselves justice’ but he gave credit to Garryowen as they were ‘the better team on the day.’ Second half tries from Kieran Lewis, Conan Doyle and Keith Earls confirmed as much.