Former club mates face off as Shannon meet UL Bohs

FORMER club-mates Stephen Keogh and Colm Tucker Jnr will be in opposing camps this Friday night when both semi-finals in the Limerick Charity Cup are staged.

FORMER club-mates Stephen Keogh and Colm Tucker Jnr will be in opposing camps this Friday night when both semi-finals in the Limerick Charity Cup are staged.

Tucker’s reign as Shannon head coach ended over the summer and he was replaced in the role by former Leinster star Keogh. Tucker didn’t take long to return to management, however, as he was announced as UL-Bohemian’s new head coach in July.

Now two of the province’s most promising young coaches will pit their wits against each other when UL-Bohemian host last season’s beaten finalists Shannon in a semi-final of the traditional season-opening Limerick Charity Cup at Annacotty on Friday at 7pm.

A strong second half rally helped Shannon secure a 33-23 victory over Nenagh Ormond in their Charity Cup quarter-final clash, while 2009 Cup finalists UL-Bohs’ recorded a last gasp 14-13 win over Garryowen.

Shannon have bolstered their backroom team with former Bruff supremo Eoin Cahill taking over the role of assistant coach and Pat Murray and Niall Cowhey appointed as joint managers.

On the playing front Shannon have also strengthened their squad, with Keogh continuing to play and the club confirming several new signings, including Argentinian prop Gonzalo Escobar, second rows Ken Hanley and Eoin Sheriff, centre Troy Smith and winger Aaron Spring. Smith will be sidelined until the New Year as he awaits surgery on a knee injury.

Former Munster and Ireland star Barry Murphy is the new Director of Rugby with UL-Bohemian this season, while the forwards coach position is filled by Gary Flanagan and team manager role has gone to Mick Murphy.

Both sides will be anxious to win Friday’s semi-final as the Munster Senior Cup begins on Saturday week, September 10.

In Friday’s other semi-final, which takes place at Tom Clifford Park at 6.45pm, three-in-a-row seeking Young Munster will meet Thomond at Tom Clifford Park. Munsters’ will be pleased with their second half display in easing past Bruff’s challenge at the quarter-final stage. Last season’s AIL semi-finalists have moved to strengthen their playing squad over the summer and a number of their new signings, with lock Sean Duggan, centre Lukas Kuntz and Mark Rowley, featuring in the quarter-final win. It was an established member of the squad, out-half Willie Staunton, who bagged the game’s opening try and further touchdowns from Matt Costello, replacement Mark Rowley and speedy winger Darragh O’Neill helped