Jump to main content



Ulster Bank Junior Cup First Round Previews

Ulster Bank Junior Cup First Round Previews

Another eagerly-awaited Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup campaign gets underway on Saturday, with clubs from all four provinces bidding to follow in the footsteps of last season’s winners Dundalk.


Kick-off 2pm unless stated –

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

MONKSTOWN v MUSKERRY, Sydney Parade, 1.45pm

Preview: There is huge excitement surrounding Monkstown’s first All-Ireland Junior Cup fixture since December 2006. They will be looking to make the most of home advantage against Cork opponents Muskerry, who are competition newcomers and currently second-from-bottom in Munster Junior League Division 1.

The visitors do have the players to trouble Monkstown, but David Mahon’s home side will be eager to bounce back from their 32-28 defeat to Gorey last time out, and look the more likely to progress.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Monkstown to win

BANGOR v CLONDALKIN, Upritchard Park

Preview: Bangor took plenty of positives from last year’s run through to the final, albeit that they were heavily beaten by Dundalk (55-5) in a one-sided decider in Portadown.

Kiwi coach Jason Morgan and goal-kicking winger Mark Widdowson remain key men in the backs, with the latter scoring two tries in their Ulster Junior Cup second round win over Ballymena seconds last time out. Ulster junior captain Jamie Clegg leads by example in the forwards.

Travelling north to the current Kukri Qualifying League leaders is a daunting task for Clondalkin. However, the Dubliners almost edged out Clogher Valley in last season’s first round and Bangor will certainly not have it all their own way.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Bangor to win


Preview: Interestingly, with Dundalk now competing in the Ulster Bank League, 2014 champions Enniscorthy are the only former Junior Cup winners in this season’s competition.

The Wexford outfit have shot to the top of Leinster Junior League Division 1A with wins over Suttonians (44-10), Ashbourne (38-3) and Kilkenny (21-8). Their pack is as competitive as ever and Ross Barbour and Evan Lett bookend a talented back-line.

Dromore have struggled for results with two wins in five games to date, and although they were buoyed by an 18-17 Ulster Junior Cup victory over Coleraine, this looks a task beyond the Ulstermen.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Enniscorthy to win


Preview: Ashbourne, another club new to the All-Ireland Junior Cup, face a tough trip to reigning Connacht Junior Cup champions Westport this weekend.

Westport’s 25-3 defeat of Buccaneers has them lying second in Connacht Junior League Division 1A, while Ashbourne won at the third attempt in Leinster’s top flight, overcoming DLSP 34-24 a fortnight ago.

It was a much-improved performance from the Meath men and they will have to take it up another few notches against their Mayo hosts, who are aiming to make up for first round exits in both 2012 and 2013.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Westport to win

MONIVEA v ST. SENAN’S, Castle Grounds, 2.30pm

Preview: This looks like being one of the ties of the round as debutants St. Senan’s take on the might of Monivea, the 2011 and 2012 runners-up, at the Castle Grounds.

The Shannon town club have been boosted by recent wins over St. Mary’s (league) and Bandon (cup), with wingers Fernando Gallant and Brian Collins in good scoring form along with place-kicker Declan Rowe.

Monivea have yet to win, three rounds into the Connacht league. Their 37-17 loss at home to Westport was particularly disappointing. The Galway side have the cup pedigree behind them, but St. Senan’s could produce an upset here.

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: St. Senan’s to win


Preview: A cracker in prospect here too, as Newcastle West entertain former Ulster Bank League club Instonians. Conor Whelan’s reliable boot was crucial in NCW’s recent Munster League win over Clanwilliam, but a weakened side were hammered 35-3 by St. Mary’s in the Munster Challenge Cup.

With young full-back Andrew McGregor impressing, Instonians come into this game on the back of victories over Kukri Qualifying League leaders Bangor (22-21) and also Lisburn, who leaked 10 tries in their Ulster Junior Cup clash.

Instonians head coach Wilbur Leacock told the Belfast Telegraph: “This is our first time in the cup and it is an arduous trip to Limerick. We know little about the opposition but travel confidently following that 63-15 win over Lisburn.”

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Instonians to win

* Clogher Valley and Clonmel received walkovers from Connemara and Ballinasloe respectively

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.


2015 – Dundalk
2014 – Enniscorthy
2013 – Tullamore
2012 – Tullamore
2011 – Crosshaven
2010 – City of Derry
2009 – Tullamore
2008 – Navan
2007 – Seapoint
2006 – Rainey Old Boys