Garryowen and Bruff reach Munster final

GARRYOWEN and Bruff will meet in the ODM Munster Senior Cup final for the second season running on Saturday, October 22, at Thomond Park after winning their respective semi-finals on Saturday.

GARRYOWEN and Bruff will meet in the ODM Munster Senior Cup final for the second season running on Saturday, October 22, at Thomond Park after winning their respective semi-finals on Saturday.

Bruff came out on top on a 23-19 scoreline when the sides met in last season’s decider before going on to claim the Bateman All-Ireland Cup title later in the spring.

Garryowen recorded an emphatic 47-10 semi-final win over Cashel at Dooradyle on Saturday in the wake of successive away wins over Cork Constitution and Dolphin in previous rounds.

Brushing aside AIL newcomers Cashel with a blistering display of running rugby, Garryowen scored five first half tries and two more in the second period. Latest addition Fergal Lawlor looked comfortable throughout in the number nine jersey and his trusty boot contributed three conversions and a penalty to his side’s tally but it was the threequarter line that destroyed Cashel.

It took just a minute for Garryowen to open the scoring with Alan Gaughan blazing through a static Cashel defence and Lawlor adding the conversion. Seven minutes later Ronan O’Mahony set up Ian Hanley for the first of his two tries and further tries came from O’Mahony, Hircock and Hanley in a 12 minute period. Lawlor’s accurate kicking helped the light blues to a 31-5 halftime lead. Garryowen finished the game in style with the best score of the game from Corey Hircock and a trademark touchdown by the experienced Paul Neville.

Holders Bruff stunned Shannon 31-14 in their semi-final tie at Coonagh on Saturday with the winners outscoring their opponents by five tries to two.

Bruff’s superiority over Shannon was every bit as emphatic as the final scoreline would suggest. The holders scored five smashing tries, due deserts for their impressive performance which was brimful of intensity, a high work rate and a clinical edge.Bruff’s hard-working, well-drilled pack was dominant for the majority of the tie, with Shannon struggling to halt the relentless progress of their powerful rolling maul which proved the launch pad for at least two of their tries.The victory comes as a timely boost for a Bruff side aiming to make a winning start to their new AIL Division 1B season on Saturday next. Bruff led 12-0 at half-time, thanks to tries from Mike Carroll and hooker Cathal O’Regan. A pair of second half tries from Paul O’Brien, one from back-row John Shine and three conversions from the boot of Tony Cahill helped Bruff secure a deserved victory. Shannon replied with tries from Mossie Lawler, a fine individual effort, and another from winger aaron Spring.

Meanwhile, on the Junior front, Presentation are into the final of the Munster Junior Challenge Shield after a thrilling win over Kinsale. Newly-promoted Pres will now meet the winners of Newcastle West and Ballincollig in the final. Mark Phayer, one of the stars of last season’s league success, was again their life-saver, kicking four penalties and a conversion to add to Shane Enright’s try. Kinsale fought right to the finish but Pres gamely held on for a 19-18 win.

In the Munster 2nds League, Thomond beat Young Munster in Fitzgerald Park 28-21. Eamonn Carr and Craig O’Hanlon scored tries for the black and ambers with Harry de Stacpoole showing his kicking prowess by landing three penalties and a conversion.

Old Crescent also recorded a welcome victory, coming away from Ormond Park with a 5-18 victory over home side Nenagh on Friday night. Prop Mike Cunningham set Crescent on the road to success with an early try, converted by out-half Paul Loughran who also added a brace of penalties. Crescent added to their 13-0 interval lead with a try from winger John Noonan.