There are three provincial derbies in the quarter-finals of the Energia All-Ireland Junior Cup, following confirmation of today’s draw for the last-eight.
The quarter-final fixtures will take place on Saturday, November 20, with 2.30pm kick-offs. Only one former winner is still standing in Kilfeacle & District, the reigning champions.
Clogher Valley, the current Ulster Championship Division 1 leaders, will have home advantage against Dromore, the Junior Cup runners-up from the 2019/20 season.
This is Clogher’s first quarter-final appearance since 2016, and they were beaten finalists two years before that. Two late tries from Regan Wilkinson and David Stinson saw them knock out Ashbourne last Saturday.
Dromore had 36 points to spare against a young Suttonians side – winger Andrew Rutledge touched down twice – and they will be out for revenge against the Valley after losing 33-17 there in the league last month.
Following the Ulster clubs’ clean sweep at the weekend, the second of the all-northern clashes sees Enniskillen hosting Ballyclare. Interestingly, the sides play each other in the league in Ballyclare this Saturday.
Stephen Welsh’s Skins, who are captained by stalwart prop Gavin Warrington, put 20 unanswered points on Seapoint in the first round. Their reward is a second ever quarter-final appearance, following on their 2017 loss to Newcastle West.
Ballyclare had a star turn from Owen Kirk in the first round, the winger weighing in with a hat-trick of tries against Gorey. They are hoping their luck changes after three quarter-final defeats between 2016 and 2019.
Munster rivals Mallow and Newcastle West will go head-to-head in another juicy quarter-final tie. Mallow’s first Junior Cup game since 2007 ended in a 56-5 hammering of Westport, with Stephen Hayes helping himself to a hat-trick.
Ger Earls’ NCW outfit are on their travels again after winning 24-6 at Tuam. Ace place-kicker Charlie O’Doherty contributed 14 points, and the Limerick men were 11-7 winners when they last faced Mallow in league action.
Title holders Kilfeacle were given a stern test by Creggs, but came through it thanks to player-coach Willie Staunton’s trio of penalties. They face a return trip to Galway, this time to the picturesque setting of Monastery Field in Clifden.
Connemara will provide the opposition on November 20, in a repeat of the sides’ 2017 quarter-final. Kilfeacle edged a titanic tussle, 12-10, back then with James Hogan notching the match-winning try.
Henry O’Toole’s well-drilled Blacks squad are always a tough nut to crack on home soil, and they are looking for another Munster scalp after beating Thomond 15-13 in Limerick.
ENERGIA ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR CUP DRAW:
QUARTER-FINALS: Saturday, November 20
Kick-off 2.30pm unless stated –
MALLOW v NEWCASTLE WEST, Keatleysclose
CLOGHER VALLEY v DROMORE, the Cran
ENNISKILLEN v BALLYCLARE, Mullaghmeen
CONNEMARA v KILFEACLE & DISTRICT, Monastery Field