GRITTY Garryowen advanced to the semi-final of this season’s ODM Financial Munster Senior Cup with a deserved 26-18 victory over Dolphin on the back pitch at Musgrave Park yesterday.
Garryowen’s prize for their second victory on Leeside in as many weeks is a semi-final meeting with competition surprise packets Cashel.
Garryowen, winners of Cork Con’ in the previous round, made a slow to the game and trailed 15-3 at half-time.
However, the ‘light blues’ produced a storming second half display to secure victory. Ian Hanley bagged two tries for the Dooradoyle side, while Declan Cusack kicked two cons.
UL-Bohemian became the latest victims of Cashel when suffering a shock 3-13 defeat to the recently promoted Tipperary side at Spafield.
UL-Bohs’ display will be a cause for some concern for their players and management team with their Ulster Bank All-Ireland League opener with Belfast Harlequins now less than two weeks away.
UL-Bohs’ failed to match their opponents at the breakdown and certainly missed some absent experienced heads against their gritty opponents who were punished for a number of instances of ill-discipline.
Cashel got off to a blistering start and built a 13-0 interval lead. The Limerick side opened their account with a penalty on 55 minutes from Aidan McNulty.
In a rip-roaring final quarter the home side had two players yellow carded and one a red one. Despite having thirteen players on the pitch for some of this period, Cashel held on for another famous victory.
Shannon won through to a semi-final meeting with Bruff after scoring a dramatic 16-12 quarter-final win over Young Munster. Home side Munsters’ held a 12-9 late on, but a try from Shannon player-coach Stephen Keogh, which was converted by Gareth Quinn-McDonogh helped the visitors record an unlikely win.
Shannon and Bruff also met in the competition 12 months ago when the South Limerick side recorded a dramatic victory on route to claiming the cup for the first time in their history.
Holders Bruff left it late before finally seeing the plucky challenge of Midleton at a showery Kilballyowen Park on Saturday afternoon.
It took an injury time try from player-head coach Peter Malone to help the home side finally break the Cork side’s resistance. Malone seized on a clever reverse pass from Tony Cahill in the 82nd minute to finally break open the Midleton defence and scamper over for the game-winning try.
Cahill’s successful conversion helped the South Limerick side record a 20-14 success.
Prop David Horan – brother of Munster and Ireland prop Marcus – and full-back Brendan Deady had bagged first half tries for holders Bruff who held a narrow 13-11 advantage at half-time.
Bruff’s victory sets up the intriguing prospect of the South Limerick side coming face-to-face with their head coach from last season Eoin Cahill who moved to become assistant coach at Shannon during the summer. Two of Eoin Cahill’s brothers, Brian and Tony, are likely to be in Bruff’s starting line-up for next weekend’s semi-final clash.
ODM Financial Munster Senior Cup semi-finals
Garryowen v Cashel; Shannon v Bruff
(Ties to be played on Saturday next, September 24