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Energia Bateman Cup Final Preview: Terenure College v Young Munster

Energia Bateman Cup Final Preview: Terenure College v Young Munster

Terenure College's Caolan Dooley is pictured in action against Young Munster during last season's Energia All-Ireland League campaign ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

A meaty all-Division 1A duel kicks off Irish club rugby’s 2024 schedule as holders Terenure College and Young Munster battle it out for the much-prized Energia Bateman Cup at Lakelands Park.


Saturday, January 6 –

TERENURE COLLEGE (4th, Div 1A) v YOUNG MUNSTER (6th, Div 1A), Lakelands Park, 2.30pm (live on Irish Rugby TV)

Join us for live coverage of the game with commentary from Daniel Mooney and Neil Treacy

Energia All-Ireland League Form – Terenure College: WLLWWLWWW; Young Munster: LLWLLWWWW
Energia All-Ireland League Top Scorers – Terenure College: Points: Callum Smith 39; Tries: Luke Clohessy 4; Young Munster: Points: Shane O’Leary 56; Tries: Stephen McLoughlin 6

Energia Bateman Cup Titles – Terenure College: 1 (2023); Young Munster: 1 (1928); Previous Final Appearances – Terenure College: 1 (2023 Champions); Young Munster: 3 (1928 Champions, 1938 Runners-up, 2022 Runners-up)

Recent Energia Bateman Cup Finals –

2011 – Bruff 24 Dungannon 18
2012 – Garryowen 24 Ballymena 6
2013 – Cork Constitution 24 St. Mary’s College 19
2014 – Cork Constitution 19 UCD 6
2015 – Cork Constitution 24 Clontarf 9
2016 – Galwegians 19 Cork Constitution 38
2017 – Old Belvedere 13 Cork Constitution 18
2018 – Cork Constitution 12 Lansdowne 32
2019 – Garryowen 45 City of Armagh 21
2020 – Lansdowne & Cork Constitution declared joint winners due to Covid-19-affected season
2022 – Lansdowne 46 Young Munster 13
2023 – Terenure College 71 Buccaneers 13

Energia Bateman Cup: History & Down Through The Years

‘The Game Has Given Me So Much, I Just Love It’ – Young Munster’s O’Leary

New Year Has Terenure Eyeing Up More Success Under Skehan

Energia Bateman Cup: Highlights Of Recent Finals

Paths To The Final –


Leinster Senior Cup
– won 43-24 v Lansdowne home
– won 50-24 v Clontarf (final at the Aviva Stadium)

Energia Bateman Cup semi-final
– won 33-15 v Sligo away


Munster Senior Cup
– walkover win v UL Bohemians away
– won 67-7 v Clonmel away
– won 19-13 v Cork Constitution home
– won 27-24 v Nenagh Ormond (final at Thomond Park)

Energia Bateman Cup semi-final
– won 17-14 v Ballynahinch away

Preview: Ten short months since lifting the trophy for the first time, Terenure College will bid to become back-to-back Bateman Cup champions – and the competition’s first two-in-a-row winners since Cork Constitution in 2017 – on home soil.

Lakelands Park will draw a big festive crowd as Sean Skehan’s men look to complete the first leg of a potential second successive All-Ireland League and Cup double. However, Young Munster, with historic ties to the Bateman Cup, are hoping to upset the odds.

Munsters, who famously won their only Bateman Cup back in 1928, went into the Christmas break on a four-match winning streak in the league, including a 13-6 win over Terenure at Tom Clifford Park in November. They are sixth in the table, two place behind the Dubliners.

So, Gearoid Slattery’s side know how to beat the title holders (they also edged them 24-18 in Limerick last season). The clubs clashed at the semi-final stage of last season’s Bateman Cup when Terenure won 21-11 at home thanks to tries from Campbell Classon, Jordan Coghlan and Levi Vaughan.

Summer signing Stephen McLoughlin, one of Young Munster’s try scorers in that most recent ‘Nure game, has emerged as their leading try scorer so far with six to his name. The hooker bagged a brace against Cork Constitution last time out.

Unsurprisingly, Cookies head coach Slattery has made minimal changes. Munster Academy duo Shay McCarthy and Ruadhan Quinn come in to start on the right wing and at openside flanker respectively. Patrick Campbell and Bailey Faloon are both out injured.

Experienced Munsters out-half Shane O’Leary, who is craving an All-Ireland medal before his move to the Miami Sharks, commented: “We’ve won four on the bounce (in the league), we’re going really well. There’s excitement around the Bateman Cup final.

“You don’t always get the chance to be in an All-Ireland final, be it senior or junior level. It’s always special. To go down as the 2024 Bateman Cup winners, it’s something nobody can take away from the group if we achieve it.

“From a personal level, not everyone wins trophies or medals throughout their career, it’s hard to do. Finals don’t come around often, so you’re hungry to go on and win when you’re in one.

“They’re a great bunch of guys. It’s a great club who have always been so good to me, so it would be great to do it.”

Terenure are also hoping to give a winning send-off to Caolan Dooley and Conall Boomer, who have both signed for the Chicago Hounds. After a mixed start to the season, they have won their last three matches, scoring 117 points in the process.

O’Leary’s direct rival, Callum Smith, impressed with a 16-point against Dublin University before Christmas, while Munster-capped winger Conor Phillips will be looking to prevail against his former club. He played for the Cookies in their 2022 Bateman Cup final defeat to Lansdowne.

Phillips is ‘central to their plans’ for the final, according to ‘Nure boss Skehan, who has selected a mostly-settled starting XV. Captain Harrison Brewer, Jordan Coghlan and Classon pack a punch up front, and Dooley, last season’s Division 1A Player of the Year, is part of a strong bench.

The last two Bateman Cup finals have been disappointingly one-sided, but Munsters could take home advantage out of the equation if they can reproduce their form from recent league rounds, when skipper Alan Kennedy got the best out of his forwards in defence and attack.

Giving a sense of the determination to keep the prestigious trophy at Lakelands, Skehan said: “We want to be able to look back on this period in 10 years’ time and say it was a remarkable era for the club rather than a flash in the pan. I think the club has everything in their arsenal to continue to achieve.

“Young Munster are definitely trying to assert themselves as the biggest club in Limerick. They’re in a great bit of form. They’ve won four on the bounce, beating Con in the last round, Ballynahinch away, City of Armagh, and ourselves in Limerick.

“We know we need to bring the best version of ourselves physically, mentally, and tactically. If we fall short in any of those aspects of our game, we know it could be a very difficult afternoon.”

Recent League Meetings – Saturday, January 14, 2023: Terenure College 21 Young Munster 11, Lakelands Park; Saturday, November 18, 2023: Young Munster 13 Terenure College 6, Tom Clifford Park

IrishRugby.ie Prediction: Terenure College to win

TERENURE COLLEGE: Aran Egan; Adam La Grue, Colm de Buitléar, Peter Sylvester, Conor Phillips; Callum Smith, Alan Bennie; Campbell Classon, Levi Vaughan, Adam Tuite, Harrison Brewer (capt), Matthew Caffrey, Adam Melia, Jim White, Jordan Coghlan.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Conan O’Donnell, Conor McCormack, Mike Murphy, Tom Coghlan, Stephen O’Neill, Caolan Dooley, Craig Adams.

YOUNG MUNSTER: Aidan Shortall; Shay McCarthy, Harry Fleming, Kegan Christian-Goss, Oisin Pepper; Shane O’Leary, Jack Lyons; David Begley, Stephen McLoughlin, Keynan Knox, Tom Goggin, Sean Rigney, Alan Kennedy (capt), Ruadhan Quinn, Fintan Coleman.

Replacements: Chris Moore, Harrison Allan, Conor Bartley, John Foley, Donnchadh O’Callaghan, Cian Casey, James O’Brien, James Horrigan.

Referee: Jonny Erskine (IRFU)