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Ulster Bank Bateman Cup Final Preview: St. Mary’s College v Cork Constitution

Ulster Bank Bateman Cup Final Preview: St. Mary’s College v Cork Constitution

The final of the Ulster Bank Bateman All-Ireland Cup kicks off what promises to be an exciting weekend for Irish rugby. St. Mary’s College host Cork Constitution at Templeville Road and the game is live on RTE Two and the RTE website (worldwide) – kicking off at 12.05pm.


ST. MARY’S COLLEGE v CORK CONSTITUTION, Templeville Road, 12.05pm (live RTÉ Two/www.rte.ie/live (worldwide))

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Paths To The Final –

St. Mary’s College:

Leinster Senior League Cup
– won 27-5 v Lansdowne
– drew 14-14 v UCD
– won 55-8 v Bective Rangers
– won 18-9 v Terenure College
– won 23-13 v Dublin University
– won 32-20 v Lansdowne (final)

Ulster Bank Bateman Cup semi-final
– won 30-22 v Galwegians

Cork Constitution:

Munster Senior Cup
– won 43-6 v Dolphin
– won 16-6 v Garryowen
– won 26-15 v Cashel
– won 15-14 v UL Bohemians (final)

Ulster Bank Bateman Cup semi-final
– won 20-13 v Ballymena

Preview: There is every reason to hope for a highly competitive and entertaining Bateman Cup decider at Templeville Road on Saturday between two of the leading sides in the country.

Both will be desperately keen to end the season with some silverware. St. Mary’s have finished a frustrating campaign third last in Ulster Bank League Division 1A, but that does not reveal their true worth.

For instance, they were only a point behind the two sides immediatedly ahead of them in the table, Old Belvedere and Young Munster. St. Mary’s won nine of their 18 outings with the problem being that they only picked up a meagre three bonus points.

Cork Constitution also secured only three bonus points, but they did quite a bit better than St. Mary’s to finish fourth in the table.

Interestingly though there was precious little in it when the two sides clashed in the league with Cork Con winning 22-13 at Templeville Road and St. Mary’s then emerging victorious 30-12 at Temple Hill.

On the basis of those results, winning the toss for home advantage may not be as important as it might seem for St. Mary’s. Still, they would undoubtedly prefer to be playing in front of their own fans.

Importantly, St. Mary’s wound up their league run with a comfortable 44-24 home victory over Young Munster last Saturday with emerging centre Robbie Hudson getting a couple of tries. Winger Steve Toal-Lennon will represent another danger to Cork Con.

St Mary’s path to the Bateman Cup final has seen them defeat newly-crowned Division 1A champions Lansdowne 32-20 in the Leinster Senior Cup final. They then got the better of Connacht Cup holders Galwegians 30-22 in the semi-final.

Cork Constitution recorded a dramatic 15-14 victory over UL Bohemians in the Munster Senior Cup final before defeating Ballymena 20-13 in the Bateman semi-final.

Victory in the final against St. Mary’s would be a fitting tribute to Brian Walsh who retires as the Cork Con head coach after the game. He has been hugely successful, leading the club to two All-Ireland League titles and also guiding them to a number of All-Ireland Cup triumphs.

Half-backs Gerry Hurley and Johnny Holland will surely play a key role for Cork Con. Out-half Holland has been particularly effective in recent months, both as a play-maker and a goal-kicker.

They are bound to be a competitive outfit, although the fact that the Munster ‘A’ team will be in action against Leinster ‘A’ in the British & Irish Cup semi-final on Friday night could impact on team selection.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Cork Constitution to win by 1-5 points

All-Ireland Cup Champions’ Roll Of Honour:

2011/12 – Garryowen
2010/11 – Bruff
2009/10 – Cork Constitution
2008/09 – Ballynahinch
2007/08 – Shannon
2006/07 – Garryowen
2005/06 – Cork Constitution