The All-Ireland Junior Cup kicks back into action this Saturday with semi-finals at Shaw’s Bridge and Myrtleville. This competition has provided some top class games in recent seasons and this weekend should prove no different.
ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR CUP SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, February 12
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
COOKE v MONIVEA, Shaw’s Bridge
Preview: A third home game for Cooke in the All-Ireland Junior Cup and they will be hoping that it brings them luck in their much-anticipated clash with Monivea.
A big win in the opening round over Corrib saw Cooke cruise into the quarter-finals. They edged out Skerries in a cracking encounter in the last-eight, ending up on the right side of a 28-24 scoreline. Monivea, meanwhile, edged past Cashel in their opening game and then saw off Ballymoney 24-0.
Cooke are currently top of the Kukri Qualifying League in Ulster with eight wins in nine games and an impressive seven bonus points.
Monivea are second in the Connacht Junior League 1A, their one loss coming against Sligo, who face Crosshaven in the other cup semi-final.
Cooke will be aiming to emulate last season’s winners, City of Derry, while Monivea will relish the prospect of a possible all-Connacht final. Saturday will reveal all.
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Cooke to win by 1-5 points
CROSSHAVEN v SLIGO, Myrtleville Cross
Preview: Crosshaven are flying the flag for junior clubs in Munster. To date in this competition, Youghal are the only finalists from Munster and that was back in 2006.
Crosshaven have been on the road for the first two rounds – beating Dundalk and Dromore – so they will welcome being at home for the semi-final.
The Cork side are currently third in the Munster Junior League Division 1, with eight wins in ten games, and as Cashel seem to have promotion sown up, this could be their best shot at silverware this season.
Sligo will not make it easy for them as they are unbeaten in their league and with seven bonus points, they will travel with a great deal of ambition. Sligo are chasing a league and cup double this season and show no signs of flagging in either competition.
Either way, this is likely to be a tough game between two clubs with plenty of talent and ambition and well worth watching if you are in the area this weekend.
IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Sligo to win by 1-5 points
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