The draw for the 2015/16 Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup was made earlier this week in the IRFU offices on Lansdowne Road. The eight first round matches will be played on Saturday, October 24.
With last year’s champions Dundalk now competing in the Ulster Bank League, Enniscorthy, the 2013/14 winners, are the only former Junior Cup holders in this season’s competition.
The Co. Wexford side will have home advantage against Dromore on the October Bank Holiday weekend, while Bangor, who were beaten by Dundalk in last January’s decider, begin their cup challenge by welcoming Clondalkin to Upritchard Park.
Competition newcomers Ashbourne face a trip to reigning Connacht Junior Cup champions Westport, and it will also be Instonians’ All-Ireland Junior Cup bow as they travel south to take on Newcastle West in one of the ties of the round.
There will be plenty of interest in Monkstown’s encounter with Muskerry at Sydney Parade where a bumper crowd is expected. The Dubliners’ last Junior Cup appearance was back in December 2006, while their Cork opponents are new to this level.
Two clubs that have unfinished business with the Junior Cup are Clogher Valley, who were beaten finalists in 2014, and Monivea, the 2011 and 2012 runners-up. Clogher Valley have been drawn at home to Connemara, with the Tyrone men having dominated the sides’ quarter-final meeting last season (43-10).
St. Senan’s, the Munster newcomers, will provide the opposition for Monivea at the Castle Grounds, while ever-improving Ballinasloe have been handed a tough task away to Clonmel, the first-time Munster Junior League Division 1 winners.
The All-Ireland Junior Cup quarter-finals have been pencilled in for Saturday, November 21, with the semi-finals on Saturday, December 12 and the final taking place on Saturday, February 6.
The Ulster Bank-sponsored competition has been a springboard to further success for several previous winners and finalists – the likes of Armagh, Tullamore, Rainey Old Boys, City of Derry and Dundalk have all gone on to gain promotion to the Ulster Bank League.
ULSTER BANK ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR CUP: Saturday, October 24
FIRST ROUND –
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated
Newcastle West v Instonians, Cullinagh
Westport v Ashbourne, Carrowholly
Monkstown v Muskerry, Sydney Parade
Clogher Valley v Connemara, the Cran
Clonmel v Ballinasloe, Ardgeeha
Enniscorthy v Dromore, Ross Road
Bangor v Clondalkin, Upritchard Park
Monivea v St Senan’s, Castle Grounds
* If teams are tied, extra-time of 10 minutes each way will be played
PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS –
2015 – Dundalk
2014 – Enniscorthy
2013 – Tullamore
2012 – Tullamore
2011 – Crosshaven
2010 – City of Derry
2009 – Tullamore
2008 – Navan
2007 – Seapoint
2006 – Rainey Old Boys