The line-up for the Ulster Bank Bateman Cup semi-finals in the New Year is a mix of old and new, with five-in-a-row champions Cork Constitution, inaugural 1922 winners Lansdowne and new provincial title holders, City of Armagh and Sligo, completing a novel quartet.
The draw has taken place for the Bateman Cup semi-finals, which will take place on Saturday, January 13. Sligo have reached this stage for the first time having won the Connacht Senior Cup last Saturday by defeating Corinthians 17-13 in a dramatic finish to the final in Strandhill.
Matthew Cosgrove’s late try proved decisive for the current Ulster Bank League Division 2C leaders. Having ended the club’s 103-year wait for a Connacht Senior Cup title, Ross Mannion’s men will have home advantage when they meet top flight heavyweights Lansdowne in the last-four.
Lansdowne, who have a perfect 10 wins out of 10 in Division 1A, won the Leinster Senior League Cup and qualified for the Bateman Cup courtesy of November’s 9-0 win away to Clontarf. The headquarters club were the Bateman Cup’s dominant force during the historic All-Ireland competition’s early years, winning the title four times between 1922 and 1931.
Like Sligo, City of Armagh will also be eyeing up a big scalp when defending Bateman Cup champions Cork Constitution visit the Palace Grounds in mid-January. Willie Faloon’s charges came from 10 points down to beat Ballymena in last night’s Ulster Senior Cup final at Kingspan Stadium, claiming the provincial crown for the first time in Armagh’s history.
Cork Con have relinquished their grip on the Munster Senior Cup, losing out 23-14 to Garryowen in last Saturday’s semi-finals, but as the previous season’s winners, they are the Munster Branch’s nominated club to compete in the 2017/18 Bateman Cup and are two wins away from completing an incredible six titles in-a-row.
Constitution, who overcame Old Belvedere 18-13 in last April’s decider, are very much the modern-day Bateman Cup kingpins, winning the competition in 2013 and retaining it every season since then. Munster clubs, including Bruff (2011) and Garryowen (2012), have had a firm grasp of the Bateman Cup since the IRFU reintroduced the four-team format seven years ago.
ULSTER BANK BATEMAN CUP SEMI-FINALS: Saturday, January 13
SLIGO v LANSDOWNE, Hamilton Park, 2.30pm
CITY OF ARMAGH v CORK CONSTITUTION, Palace Grounds, 2.30pm
– The final is scheduled for the weekend of April 21/22
(i) If teams are tied at full-time, extra-time of 10 minutes each way will be played
(ii) If still tied, the team that has scored the most tries will be the winners
(iii) If still tied, the away team will be declared the winners
Clubs may tog out up to seven replacements for both the semi-finals and the final and rolling substitutions will apply.
Nationally or provincially contracted players may not play in the Bateman Cup where a Division 1 club is drawn against a Division 2 club. Development and Academy contracted players are eligible to play in this competition.
All-Ireland Cup Champions’ Roll Of Honour:
2016/17 – Cork Constitution (Bateman Cup)
2015/16 – Cork Constitution (Bateman Cup)
2014/15 – Cork Constitution (Bateman Cup)
2013/14 – Cork Constitution (Bateman Cup)
2012/13 – Cork Constitution (Bateman Cup)
2011/12 – Garryowen (Bateman Cup)
2010/11 – Bruff (Bateman Cup)
2009/10 – Cork Constitution
2008/09 – Ballynahinch
2007/08 – Shannon
2006/07 – Garryowen
2005/06 – Cork Constitution