THE domestic rugby season kicks off this weekend with the opening fixture of this season’s Limerick Charity Cup due to take place on Saturday.
The competition begins with a high profile fixture as last season’s beaten Charity Cup finalists UL-Bohemian host Young Munster in Annacotty at 2.30pm in a first round clash.
Home side UL-Bohs will be looking to regain the cup this season after losing out narrowly, 22-24, to Shannon in a nail-biting final played at Tom Clifford Park last September. Their first round opponents Young Munster exited the competition at the hands of Shannon at the semi-final stage last season.
The winners of that UL-Bohs v Shannon first round tie will face Thomond at the quarter-final stage of the now traditional season-opening competition.
Holders Shannon are set to open their Limerick Charity Cup campaign against Richmond at Richmond Park on Saturday week, September 5 at 2.30pm.
The remaining quarter-final ties see Bruff host Garryowen at Kilballyowen Park also on Saturday, September 5 and Old Crescent enjoy home advantage for their last eight meeting with Nenagh Ormond at Rosbrien at a date yet to be confirmed.
The winners of the Richmond v Shannon quarter-final have been drawn to face either Bruff or Garryowen in the semi-finals. In the second semi-final, Old Crescent or Nenagh Ormond will take on either Young Munster/UL-Bohemian or Thomond.
All monies taken on the gate at Limerick Charity Cup games go to local charities, including the likes of St Vincent de Paul, the Hospice and the IRFU Charitable Trust.
Admission to games has been maintained at 5euro for several years now, although spectators can donate more if they can afford it.
The quarter-finals of the Limerick Charity Cup take place a week before the start of the new Ulster Bank League season. The AIL season locally begins on Friday, September 12 with the meeting of Shannon and Garryowen at Dooradoyle in Division 1B, 7.30pm.