Today’s draw for the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup quarter-finals has thrown up one mouth-watering Leinster derby and three other fascinating inteprovincial ties. The four games will take place on Saturday, November 21.
Enniscorthy, the 2013/14 champions, will have home advantage for the second successive round as they welcome provincial rivals Ashbourne, the 29-9 conquerors of Westport, to Ross Road.
It looks set to be an intriguing battle as Leinster’s last two Towns Cup champions go head-to-head. Enniscorthy had a walkover in last weekend’s opening round as Dromore could not field a full team.
The Wexford men are top of Leinster Junior League Division 1A at present with three wins from three, while second-from-bottom Ashbourne have ground to make up.
The sides already met in the league earlier this month, Enniscorthy enjoying a convincing 38-3 victory at Ross Road with wingers Ivan Jacob and David O’Dwyer, flanker Tom Ryan and number 8 Timmy Morrissey all touching down.
Two of the most impressive winners from the Junior Cup’s first round will clash in the last-eight – Instonians and St. Senan’s. The Co. Clare outfit will make the long trip to Belfast on the back of a 34-3 dismissal of Monivea, during which they ran in five tries.
Instonians’ reward for a 20-5 triumph away to Newcastle West is a home game against another Munster side. Wilbur Leacock’s charges are always formidable opposition at Shaw’s Bridge where they have beaten Omagh (40-8) and CIYMS (41-10) in the league so far this season.
Bangor, who currently top the Kukri Qualifying League 1 table just ahead of Inst, will welcome Monkstown to Upritchard Park. The clubs both enjoyed home successes last Saturday, against Clondalkin (23-10) and Muskerry (41-16) respectively.
Bangor are looking to go one better than last season when they finished as Junior Cup runners-up to Dundalk, while Monkstown are bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
There will also be huge interest in the quarter-final meeting of Clonmel, who won their first Munster Junior League Division 1 title under Denis Leamy last term, and Clogher Valley who boast a rich pedigree in this All-Ireland competition.
The Co. Tyrone club lost by a single point to Enniscorthy in an extremely tight final in February 2014, and also reached the last-four in both 2012/13 and 2014/15. They are sure to bring a vocal crowd down to Clonmel’s atmospheric Ard Gaoithe ground.
ULSTER BANK ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR CUP: Saturday, November 21
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated
Instonians v St. Senan’s, Shaw’s Bridge
Enniscorthy v Ashbourne, Ross Road
Bangor v Monkstown, Upritchard Park
Clonmel v Clogher Valley, Ard Gaoithe
* 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